November 3, 2009

Japan Calls it Quits on F1

Honda, Bridgestone, now Toyota, as was hinted at back in August, is said to be out of the game leaving no Japanese involvement in the world's leading motor racing series.

It remains to be seen if they will continue as an engine supplier and how they will deal with the fact they signed a contract to race in F1 through 2012. Upshot is it looks like Formula 1's getting closer and closer to Max Mosley's dream of a Cosworth powered spec series and what a huge mistake it was for FOTA not to break away and be done with Formula 1 as it now exists.


  1. So much for Kobayashi getting a F1 seat.

  2. I wouldn't count Kobayashi out yet. With the speed he showed I think someone will take interest in him.

  3. At least a more successful team will probably take their place on the grid...


  4. Sauber (BMW) will get the spot now (pending their shady finance people being given the nod of approval). But I reckon Kobayashi is in trouble as no reason for Japanese money to help him get a seat elsewhere.

    Toyota will give him a salary and put him in Japanese Super GT or something as he's likely become a bit of a hero at home after the last two GPs.

    Peter Sauber has always been good at spotting junior talent.

    Only 130 days to the next grand prix...

  5. "what a huge mistake it was for FOTA not to break away.."

    can you elaborate a little more on why you say this.
    Are you implying that manufacturers don't bother to find the budget and stay in F1 because it is FIA ruled, where as if it was FOTA's series, Toyota, BMW, Honda and maybe others (Renault?) would actually succeed in producing the required budget to participate at this level of competition, especially when FOTA's approach was for a non restricted budget.??

  6. I could not help but notice Peter Windsor's remark before the start in Abu Dhabi that word up and down the paddock was that the BMW engine was the strongest on the grid.

    I have to believe that as teams come and go . . . as well as engine suppliers . . . that in time, given some bounce in the world economy . . . we may very well see these manufacturers back in the game.

    I doubt very seriously that even if demonic Mosley's dream of the world engine is realized that it necessarily means forever.

    In the meantime, I'll look on the bright side . . . and look forward to seeing Sauber run circles around Williams from here to eternity.

  7. Stig, Toyota unlike BMW has signed up to the Concorde Agreeement and there is talk of a managment buyout like at Honda/Brawn. The team that is Toyota still has an F1 slot, so I don't believe that this means that Sauber now has a spot in F1.

  8. @John: I really don't buy the funding argument fully, I think it's at least 50/50 a pr issue. FOTA was in step with the price reduction and by next year F1 was on track to bring in enough TV revenues to more than break even. But I think manufacturers do not want to NOT have control of what they invest in and with the absurd scandals of the past few years and the cross vendettas...I'm sure that was at the very least a contributing factor.

    The other issue is, is the Concord Agreement worth the paper it's printed on? I wonder if Sauber can "buy" Toyota's contract (and the related TV revenue).


    Engine suppliers... I wonder now if Mclarens entry into engine manufacturing does not make a lot more sense....

  9. PS above...I meant 2011 not 2010... my bad

  10. isnt this some fine renault are gonna give it up too...this makes me wonder...the FIA MUST have known about ALL this upheaval a LONG time ago because they were depserate to get new blood eg campos et al into the sport ...not as competition for the existing teams...but that the teams would be bailing alltogether..... so much for breakaway series...

  11. Talked about FOTA... ignore whatever Flavio Briatore did, FOTA is without a hard-driving rebel.

    Stig's fat cousin

  12. @AC

    Thanks for clarifying this. I see where you are getting at and I cannot argue. It is a realistic point of view what you mention.

    To back up your opinion, here is an interesting article on Ferrari's thoughts about this story:


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