Pyrone89 wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:54 pm
ispano6 wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:59 am
Honda's plan was to return for 10 years initially, and since Marko and Tost were able to convince Honda to stay, at least for another 5 years, even with a change in regulations. From what I hear Honda is in it for the long haul, to win the championship with Red Bull Racing. Until they do, they will stay until F1 becomes irrelevant to the world, which it won't ever. Might be a different formula, there might not even be tires, but Honda will compete as long as there is racing.
Part of this plan is to raise Japanese drivers. We have a fairly capable one in Nobu. Though he kind of is like a Stroll or Latifi, being grandson and heir of Matsushita (Panasonic). Tadasuke Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi are on the rise. Naoki Yamamoto, Buttons SuperGT teammate is also fast, but had a down year when Gasly almost won Super Formula.
Eventually Honda needs a car for it's drivers, so it's either a seat in STR or a pay driver role in another team. I doubt Honda would buy out STR, but it's possible Honda funds half the costs if they were to fund their driver. Maybe another midfield team may opt to switch, or we may see a push for more privateer customer teams.
I don't see this happening until after Red Bull Honda win a championship together. If they do by 2020, who knows maybe RBH will have their own FE entry in the future.
Why not both. Honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world. Surely they can fund both.
FE is pretty inexpensive as worldwide series go. That has been part of its "charm" to manufacturers like BMW, Audi, Nissan, Porsche, etc.
Just for comparison, here are some other series that Honda competes in, all in the same general price range as FE:
* IndyCar (around $25 Million USD annually). If as rumored Indycar adds a hybrid element for 2022, that price could rise
* IMSA Sports Cars (similar amount as Indycar for both a Factory DPI, Customer NSX GT3 and Civic TCR combined)
* SuperGT surely costs more than FE
* SuperFormula probably costs something less than Indycar
* MotoGP and WSBK. Not sure about costs of those but SuperMan's cape is not inexpensive.
None of this takes into account the staggering number of feeder series both in bikes and cars that Honda supports, There are more than a dozen of those in the US alone. And then there os the small fleet of cars Honda enters in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb every year.
So if a formula E program is $30 million, Honda could absorb it pretty easily. It could easily do something like what BMW did, which is to buy the naming rights to what had been the Andretti Autosport FE team. There are still teams on the grid that don't have strong ties to big manufacturers. Or Honda could start its own team.