Posted on March 5, 2009
Honda will race in 2009! | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Former Honda CEO Nick Fry was at the FOTA press conference this morning and after FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo confirmed that the team had been saved, he felt obliged to confirm this and to say that it would not have happened without FOTA support.

“Our team has been and will benefit from FOTA, first in cost reductions and help for the next three years and also from the level of support over the last three months from the all the teams.

“On the day Honda announced that they were pulling out we had support from Luca di Montezemolo and from Ron Dennis and everyone up here (the team principals on the stage) has helped us to preserve the team. I and the 700 employees thank them for that.”

Interesting that he should choose to mention the 700 employees as surely that number will be reduced by at least half as the team faces a new life as an independent operation?

Fry said that the announcement of the team’s salvation would come out ‘very soon’. Ross Brawn was not at the press conference today.

Fry refused to say any more.

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Honda will race in 2009!
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  1.   1. Posted By: Moog
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 1:18 pm 

    This is great news, I visited the factory last year and it is a great place with really nice friendly staff. Let’s hope they can get some testing in (I found the nearby A422 particularly interesting! ).

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  2.   2. Posted By: ade
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 1:39 pm 

    Strange how Nick Fry was there, but Ross Brawn wasn’t, given that all the rumours are that the team will carry Ross Brawn’s name…

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  3.   3. Posted By: Finn
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 2:35 pm 

    Looks like I got the Fry out and Senna in bit completely wrong.

    Very disappointed if Senna hasn’t got a seat. Very.

    If it is Fry and Brawn, and Button and Barrichello it seems very unimaginative to me … as if Honda are still putting their incompetent sticky fingers all over things … their penchant for ‘loyalty’ even if it means making yet another bad decision. [ e'cons misbehaving - moderator ]

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  4.   4. Posted By: Kenny Carwash
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 2:49 pm 

    I imagine Ross is a very busy man right now! It would seem to suggest that Nick Fry will continue with the team, which I think is quite a good thing as he seems to work well with Ross Brawn and I suspect takes ownership of many business issues that Ross would rather not spend his time on. Fry seems to have been made a scapegoat by many observers, but I think this is a little unfair and his track record as a project leader is quite good. Personally I think Honda’s decision to replace Geoff Willis was instrumental in the downturn of their fortunes and Nick Fry was merely a visible target.

    I’m very relieved that the team’s future is secure for the time being, and encouraged that they were able to retain Rubens Barrichello in the face of the money Bruno Senna would’ve brought with him. Like James, I’m surprised at Nick Fry referring to 700 employees, as I gather their final headcount will be a little over half that with the biggest losses coming from the now largely redundant testing and engine divisions.

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  5.   5. Posted By: Tony
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 2:56 pm 

    Sorry Finn, but I don’t see the logic in bringing in Senna. It’s highly unlikely that he’d be able to match either of the veterans, especially since he’d have very little testing to get up to speed, and he’d have to get used to the team’s operating procedures and even some of the tracks! If he was a Vettel-type talent I could see taking the chance, but he doesn’t appear to be. Don’t worry – he’ll get a chance at some point.

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  6.   6. Posted By: rich
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 2:57 pm 

    I hope so. Lets just wait and see what kind of car we have.. Can we blame it on honda if its rubbish… i think so

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  7.   7. Posted By: Jon
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 3:55 pm 

    Do you have any news from Jerez James, especially regarding McLaren?

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  8.   8. Posted By: Aaron James
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 5:57 pm 

    James- a little off topic but im keen to know- does anyone know if you are involved in the BTCC coverage this season?

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  9.   9. Posted By: Finn
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 6:04 pm 

    Thanks Tony.

    I would have given Senna a shot. In a team with low expectations, he could have had a year getting to know tracks and learning the ropes without too much pressure to live up to his illustrious name.

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  10.   10. Posted By: HowardMoon
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 6:06 pm 

    I think I read somewhere it was last-minute substitution as it was Brawn that was scheduled to attend.

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  11.   11. Posted By: Dermot
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 6:19 pm 

    Jon: I also am very keen to hear any news on McLaren from Jerez. I’m getting bad vibes from the way things have been going for them…the pace just doesn’t seem to be there..neither does a there seem to be a decision on how their 2009 rear wing should be performing!

    Also seeing Lewis trash the back end of the car in a high speed crash is not encouraging, It suggests to me that he’s driving the wheels off the thing to try and get laptimes out of it.

    Hopefully i’m wrong…i don’t support McLaren particularly but it wouldn’t be the same without them fighting it out with the others at the front of the grid.

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  12.   12. Posted By: ade
        Date: March 5th, 2009 @ 6:39 pm 

    Thanks for that, Howard.

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  13.   13. Posted By: HowardMoon
        Date: March 6th, 2009 @ 12:42 am 

    And it’s official: Honda Racing is now Brawn GP! Button and Barrichello will be side-by-side in Brawn GP’s 2009 car to be tested at Silverstone tomorrow and unveiled sometime next week, all according to Autosport and BBC F1.

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  14.   14. Posted By: Boston F1 Fan
        Date: March 6th, 2009 @ 1:35 am 

    - Living proof of the advantages of the cost-cutting measures.

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  15.   15. Posted By: Kevin M
        Date: March 6th, 2009 @ 7:28 am 

    I just saw on autosport.com that Brawn GP is the new name of Honda F1. Drivers are Button and Barrichello. Colours are yellow, black and white.

    This is pretty exciting news. Can’t wait to see the photos from their first test. Is there set to be an official launch of the car James? Any news on sponsors?

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  16.   16. Posted By: Ali
        Date: March 6th, 2009 @ 8:58 am 

    I think Nick Fry is out and there’s some rumours that Mike Gascoyne would be hired as technical director.

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  17.   17. Posted By: Raz
        Date: March 6th, 2009 @ 11:42 am 

    Ali, Fry has been ‘margined’ hence why he left soooo damn quickly after the FOTA meeting.. basically its Ross’ Team, and Fry is out.. THANK GOD FOR THAT.. HAHA!

    Oh, and before every slates me about why I don’t like Fry that much, put it this way, he single handedly screwed it for Super Aguri.

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