Interview with Bernie Ecclestone – Honda’s retirement from F1

8 12 2008

Bernie Ecclestone, the owner of the Formula 1 brand name recently gave an interview on why Honda retired from the sport. Here first is the interview.

So Ecclestone is of the opinion that the teams are spending way too much money getting their cars to be competitive. But Bernie, it is a COMPETITION! A RACE to see who crosses the finish line first. 2nd place does not cut it.  It has been that way since the first Olympics when men raced against men. The Modern Olympics is all about winning. The cost of research and development for swimsuits alone can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Everything is about the competition, about winning.

So if you put two drivers with their own team of mechanics and ask them to win a race no matter what, guess what they will do?  The engineers will try their best to get thier driver into the best car, spending all the money at their disposal to doit. And the driver will push the car to it’s limit  just to win the race for the whole team.

While I do agree the cost of running a team is astronomical (Honda spends in excess of ₤200 million a year!) I cannot blame them for having the competitive streak. I certainly wouldn’t want an engineer who says to a driver “Sorry you’ll just have to make do with 700bhp”. I want an engineer who will say “Let me work on it tonight and get you that extra horsepower”. Maybe Bernie should just give up the brand name to someone who is younger and understands the sport. I am sure there are other ways to whittle down spending without dousing the competitive spirit of the racing teams.

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