F1 News, Views and Reviews

Villeneuve Believes Honda’s Exit Driven By Economics; Frentzen Saddened By Loss Of Team

Jacques Villeneuve believes that Honda’s decision to leave F1 has been driven by the current economic climate and politics within F1 and outside of the sport.

Villeneuve, competing in the Speedcar series at the moment, drove for Honda under the BAR guise when they provided engines between 2000-2003.

“I don’t think F1 is one of Honda’s biggest expenses, but with the world economic climate as it is you have to be perceived to be making cuts,” Villeneuve said.

“I think it’s more of a political decision.”

He believes that the fact they scored just 18 points in the past two seasons, and have had little or no success accelerated the decision to quit, despite claims that they were ready for 2009 and had a potentially race winning machine.

Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR Honda in 2002

Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR Honda in 2002

Meanwhile, another former Formula One driver Heinz Harald Frentzen believes it is incredibly sad to see a manufacturer who have been in some way involved in F1 for so long leave.  He believed that under the guidance of ex-Ferrari ace Ross Brawn, the team had decent potential.

“It’s sad that a long-term manufacturer with wins in the past has decided to quit,” Frentzen saidd “I thought with Ross Brawn they would attack again. It’s a big surprise.”

HHF drove in F1 last with Sauber Petronas in 2003

HHF drove in F1 last with Sauber Petronas in 2003

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