Tokyo, Japan – Citing a quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, Honda has announced that it will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season of participation. The announcement was made by Takeo Fukui, president and CEO of the Honda Motor Corp.
In a statement, Fukui said that, “Honda must protect its core business activities and secure the long term as widespread uncertainties in the economies around the globe continue to mount. A recovery is expected to take some time. Under these circumstances, Honda has taken swift and flexible measures to counter this sudden and expansive weakening of the marketplace in all business areas. However, in recognitiion of the need to optimize the allocation of management resources, including investment regarding the future, we have decided to withdraw from Formula One participation.”
The company said that it will enter into consultation with the associates of the Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier, Honda Racing Development, regarding the future of the two companies, including offering the team for sale. Honda has participated in Formula One races from the 2000 season, initially with BAR; commencing with the 2006 season, it switched to a 100 per cent Honda-owned team, the year it achieved a Grand Prix victory.