Honda Racing Europe have been quick to come out and claim that Honda will not be quitting MotoGP as part of the overall scaling back operation by the Japanese manufacturer.
The scaling back of operations has led to the Formula One team being shut down, but Honda will continue to fund their MotoGP team in the wake of today’s shock revelations.
The Repsol Honda team admit that they, along with the other MotoGP teams need to bring costs under control in the sport to keep it running successfully.
“The decision to pull out of F1 does not affect the other forms of motorsport Honda are involved in,” Paul Ormond, Honda Racing Europe’s spokeman told Autosport.
“We will be looking at reducing our costs, as we’re sure other teams will be doing too, in MotoGP and other motorcycle activities.”
We have managed to gain a transcript copy of the full statement from Takeo Fukui regarding Honda’s exit from Formula One. I believe that everyone would be interested in reading it, so enjoy (if you can say enjoy in these circumstances).
“We, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., have come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season of participation.
This difficult decision has been made in light of the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, brought on by the sub-prime problem in the United States, the deepening credit crisis and the sudden contraction of the world economies.
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 recognition of the need to optimize the allocation of management resources, including investment regarding the future, we have decided to withdraw from Formula One participation. We will enter into consultation with the associates of Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier Honda Racing Development regarding the future of the two companies. This will include offering the team for sale.
In its third era of Formula One activities, Honda has been participating in Formula One races from the 2000 season, initially with BAR, by adopting a new format of jointly developing racing machines.
Subsequently, in a move to meet the changing environment surrounding Formula One, we switched to running a 100 percent Honda-owned team commencing with the 2006 season.
Surmounting many challenges, the Honda Team achieved a Grand Prix victory in 2006, enabling Honda to receive overwhelming support from Honda fans around the world that were looking forward to greater success. It, therefore, has been an extremely difficult decision for us to come to this conclusion without having been able to fully meet the expectations of our fans.
By making the best of what we have learned during these times of economic turmoil, coupled with the spirit of challenge gained through active participation in racing, we intend to continue with our commitment in meeting new challenges.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our fans and all those who have supported Honda’s Formula One efforts, including everyone in the world of Formula One.
Thank you very much.
President and CEO
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.”