News and views on motorsports

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hey Big Spender

Cost cutting or no, test reduction or not, here's Honda now saying they're prepared to throw yet more greenbacks at Honda Racing Developments' F1 programme. New boss Tasuhiro Wada quoted by Autosport as saying: "It's possible that we may need to bring in more resources, our aim is to win the world championship and if we need more resources to do that then we will provide them. It's important to ensure that we have the right quality of resources though - it's not just about quantity."

Translation: Toyota have improved tremendously this year. They have been consistently quicker and are beating us at every turn. Whilst we have failed to finish in the points even when we finish a race. For our honour in the land of the rising sun and elsewhere, we simply cannot allow this to continue. Toyota must be stopped no matter what the cost.

Trust me when I say, the rivalry between these two Japanese automotive giants is immense. The same intensity if not more than the rivalry between BMW and Mercedes. Anyone still remember what happened when Toyota supplied engines to Chip Ganassi's Champ car team? Toyota via Ganassi took credit for Ganassi's past victories. All of which were done with Honda power. Understandably, Honda were livid.

The rivalry goes even further. I have it on good authority that on every Toyota Supra and MR-S competing in the Japan GT / Super GT, there is plaque on the engines that calls for the destruction of Mugen Honda. Or something to that effect. Toyota TRD and Mugen Honda mechanics hardly speak to one another, so intense is their rivalry. When asked about Mugen and Honda, a TRD engineer simply shook his head and spoke two words: "No Good."

Honda must be reeling in pain at the humiliation laid on by Toyota this year. You can bet they will be doing everything they can to rectify the situation. Which is good news for us fans of course if it leads to better racing.

But alas, what about reducing costs? Can it really be reduced. Pragmatically, there really isn't anyway to force teams to spend less. Can't test it on the track, then people like Toyota simply keep their wind tunnels open 24/7. Sauber invests in super computers. Ferrari, well, they can't be arsed to reduce costs or even follow testing agreements.

As Mike Gascoyne said at the Bahrain GP, people like Toyota are in F1 to showcase their technology. As such, its only expensive when they don't succeed. But when they do succeed, the money is well spent and the sport is not expensive. No matter how much money was thrown at it.

And so, if Honda can at least beat their deadly rivals by throwing more money into the pot, they'll be quite happy. Not that I'm suggesting they do not have the championship in mind. They have been world champions in the past. Its a tradition they will want to uphold. But first, Toyota must fall!

No comments: