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#1 Uwe

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 19:03

In the new edition of the (german) sport auto magazine is an interesting article about Honda, Ross Brawn and the deep trouble the team was during last year. One bit is especially mind-boggling: At one point of 2007 Nick Fry - a marketing man, no engineer and for sure no aerodynamicist - panicked and demanded the sidepods to be a copy of the McLaren sidepod (which were then internally called "frypods"). Of course this didn't work.

Incredible. I always thought that Nick Fry is not the sharpest knife in the box but I can only conclude now he is a complete idiot. How can a manager think he doesn't have to care for CFD and windtunnel results, overrule his aero guys and just take a part from a competitors car?

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#2 undersquare

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 19:07

Even as a marketing man...he hasn't got any sponsors.

#3 pingu666

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 19:24

last year the car was blank, this year i dunno whats going on...

#4 Andrew Ford &F1

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 18:17

Prior to this I had a better opinion about Mr. Fry. Bad, bad Nick.

But for those, who think that he's an idiot and an average marketing man, I'd like to point out that it was under his leadership that the team got it's first win and signed a certain Ross Brawn, who should help the outfit to return to the sharp end of the field.

By the way, suppose Dave Richards was left at the helm of the team. Where do you think they would be now?

#5 Clatter

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 18:22

Originally posted by Andrew, Ford &F1
By the way, suppose Dave Richards was left at the helm of the team. Where do you think they would be now?


Challangeing at the sharp end.

#6 Scudetto

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 18:30

Originally posted by Andrew, Ford &F1
But for those, who think that he's an idiot and an average marketing man, I'd like to point out that it was under his leadership that the team got it's first win and signed a certain Ross Brawn, who should help the outfit to return to the sharp end of the field.


Not that I think Fry's an idiot, but if you want to point out the fact that Honda got its first win under his leadership, it's also worthy to note that the fist win was also its last and only win.

#7 wingwalker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 18:33

Sounds a lot like a story I read about Flavio on this forum. In the first half of 90's he noticed that Ferrari's creates sparks on the straights, and are quicker than Bennetons in a straight line. So he said that Bennetons should create sparks too, but luckily for the team wasn't as stubborn as Fry.

#8 SevenTwoSeven

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 18:34

I always thought it odd that Richards got the push, or left, or whatever he did. They seemed to do a lot better than they have under him than recently despite the 'win'.

I get the impression him and 'James Allen says Jensons going to win' Button didnt really get on?

Nick Fry was on 'watchdog*' once i recall from a back page thing in F1 racing, and survived an interview with Ann Robinson when he worked at Ford. Maybe thats why Honda employed him. A bit like Toyota thinking they had signed Micheal Schumacher instead of Ralf :wave:

*Watchdog is a British consumer v the gaint coporations type program, it may not be available in other countries on your local network

#9 Dolph

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 16:06

Originally posted by Andrew, Ford &F1
But for those, who think that he's an idiot and an average marketing man, I'd like to point out that it was under his leadership that the team got it's first win...


You actually think that a freak instance is a valid argument to be used?

#10 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:40

Just today he has questioned the Super Aguri buy-out by Wiegel. His logic "we haven't been able to find a sponsor in a year, how can they do it in a week?"

Why is he still at Honda?

#11 Timstr11

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:46

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Just today he has questioned the Super Aguri buy-out by Wiegel. His logic "we haven't been able to find a sponsor in a year, how can they do it in a week?"

FYI it's Weigl not Wiegel.

Can you provide a source for this statement?
Or did you just make it up to join the Fry-bashing bandwagon that seems to be so popular on this BB.

#12 Hacklerf

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:52

Nick Fry =

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#13 Gecko

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 17:38

Originally posted by Andrew, Ford &F1
But for those, who think that he's an idiot and an average marketing man, I'd like to point out that it was under his leadership that the team got it's first win and signed a certain Ross Brawn, who should help the outfit to return to the sharp end of the field.

By the way, suppose Dave Richards was left at the helm of the team. Where do you think they would be now?


Under Dave Richards, Honda had its most competitive season by far. They did win in 2006 and finished the whole season strongly, but what is even more important is that Fry managed to get the person most responsible for actually delivering a winning car (namely Geoff Willis) fired over early season problems. This move was by far the most responsible one for the disaster that was the 2007 car. This would likely never have happened under Richards' leadership, and the same goes for their ridiculous earth dream campaign that was the direct consequence of Fry not being able to attract sponsors.

By the way, wasn't there a rumour going about that Fry might be offloaded to the Super Aguri team? If so, it makes sense he might want to bury the team before he can be sent there.

#14 F575 GTC

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 17:56

Originally posted by SevenTwoSeven
I always thought it odd that Richards got the push, or left, or whatever he did. They seemed to do a lot better than they have under him than recently despite the 'win'.


Yep; have a decent season in 2004 then plummet downhill from 2005 onwards, with only one lucky win in 2006 - makes you wonder if that win hadn't happened would Fry have been given the push?

Not entirely sure why they keep him on, from what i've seen from him getting involved he's just made broken promises and talked rubbish. The guy's a complete tool. :down:

#15 SevenTwoSeven

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 18:14

Originally posted by Gecko


, and the same goes for their ridiculous earth dream campaign that was the direct consequence of Fry not being able to attract sponsors.


I might be wrong so correct me if so.....but im sure last year (not sure about this year) the drivers overalls were still plasterd in sponsors logos, many of which they had in 2006. I got the impression they still had those sponsors despite the 'worst F1 car on earth' dream livery.

This year however i note this seems no longer the case.

#16 pingu666

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 18:41

http://www.jensonbutton.com still shows a few on there so i dunno :

#17 Romulus

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:06

I have always thought that Nick Fry is a clown.

#18 Gecko

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:07

I should have been more precise and said that they failed to attract a major sponsorship deal (think of other teams and deals such as Panasonic, Vodafone, Philip Morris, ING ... ), not the minor ones (such as Aigo or Martini on their respective teams).

#19 pingu666

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:08

i always felt he was over managerial tbh

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#20 dawg_7529

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:12

Originally posted by Andrew, Ford &F1

By the way, suppose Dave Richards was left at the helm of the team. Where do you think they would be now?


If richards was at the helm, he wouldnt have just copied the sidepods of the mclaren car, but instantly tried to buy an entire car of mclaren as a customer. Since the fia have shelved that plan, honda wouldv been without a car and would probably be out of bizniz around this time.

Let Richards stay in rallying and leave F1 for the big boys.

#21 Group B

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:12

One tends to suspect that NF may be something of a cock :

#22 Imperial

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:16

Nick Fry isn't worth debating. He's merely Honda's gopher.

The guy must get through a shit-load of free holidays during the winter from all the airmiles he must accumulate from constantly flying between Blighty and The Land Of The Rising Sun.

A Darth Vader phrase springs to mind: "What is thy bidding my Master?"

As for Ross Brawn...

That wasn't a Fry masterstroke!

Honda wanted Ross Brawn. **** me. The gopher doesn't get to decide who the top people are in the team. Fry was given a blank cheque signed by Mr Honda with Ross Brawn's name on the top. It's as simple as that.

#23 trekkypj

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:22

Is it true that Nick Fry told officials Super Aguri won't be racing in Turkey???

I know SA owe Honda a LOT of money but come on...

#24 Imperial

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:30

Originally posted by trekkypj
Is it true that Nick Fry told officials Super Aguri won't be racing in Turkey???

I know SA owe Honda a LOT of money but come on...


Well as I intimated, he's Honda' gopher.

I therefore don't envy him the shitty tasks, such as informing a team they can **** off and go home.

#25 trekkypj

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:31

Karma has a not so subtle way of biting people in the ass.

I hope Nick Fry finds this out, and soon.

#26 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 19:59

I always thought the guy was severely challenged intelligence-wise, and a terrible manager. I've got to say that Honda's and Toyota's forays into F1 have pretty much crushed the myth of superior Japanese management. Zero competence and zero learning ability is all that we've seen from the management of these two manufacturers when it comes to F1.

#27 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 21:04

Timstr 11:

The quote was in a story on the Autosport home page up until a few hours ago. Perhaps Mr. Fry perhaps withdrew his silly statement. It is clearly his intent to shut Super Aguri down since they keep making him look like the marketing light weight he is. He, himself, has been unable to secure any major sponsorship for Honda in the last 2 years. Any other major team would have fired him by now. His Japanese must be excellent! :down: :kiss:

#28 BuonoBruttoCattivo

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 21:33

Originally posted by Group B
One tends to suspect that NF may be something of a cock :


Absolutely... :up:
His desire to see Super Aguri sink is despicable, contradicting Honda corporate.
Why this man wasn't fired by the Japaneses in 2005, when the secret fuel tank and suspension story came to surface???
Unlike the other cocks in the paddock, Fry is not even successful at his work. :down: :down:

#29 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 23:27

The last thing Nick Fry wants right now is someone manufacturing a chassis using a Honda engine.

I think Franz Josef Weigl is coming across as being very professional.

#30 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:12

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Timstr 11:

The quote was in a story on the Autosport home page up until a few hours ago. Perhaps Mr. Fry perhaps withdrew his silly statement. It is clearly his intent to shut Super Aguri down since they keep making him look like the marketing light weight he is. He, himself, has been unable to secure any major sponsorship for Honda in the last 2 years. Any other major team would have fired him by now. His Japanese must be excellent! :down: :kiss:

I read all the news items on autosport.com the past few days. Never seen it. Why don't you just admit it was a fabrication on your part.

Why are people going on about Honda's lack of sponsorhip? They have a different business model where the sponsors do not appear on the car, but on team trucks hospitality area, overalls etc.

And even if you want to argue they don't have sponsors, in terms of resources they are one of the wealthiest teams in the paddock. So WHO CARES!

#31 Motormedia

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:27

If Fry is the problem, I think Ross Brawn will make it clear. His word should carry some weight inside the Honda organisation. It would be a tremendous loss of prestige if Brawn decided to leave and I would be surprised if the leadership above Fry would let that happen, at least not without any consequenses.

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#32 Gecko

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:34

Originally posted by Timstr11
And even if you want to argue they don't have sponsors, in terms of resources they are one of the wealthiest teams in the paddock. So WHO CARES!


Absolutely, if Honda want's to fund the whole operation by themselves, that's their own matter, they are certainly more than capable of doing so. However, the word goes that this was not their original plan but rather a failure of the management .

#33 Gecko

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:40

Originally posted by Timstr11
I read all the news items on autosport.com the past few days. Never seen it. Why don't you just admit it was a fabrication on your part.


Also this point. I am not sure if the quote was on Autosport or not, but a lot of other F1 sites carry it courtesy of Reuters, look it up. It is almost exactly the same wording as David used.

#34 armchair expert

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:41

Fry comments on Wiegl

The development comes just 24 hours after Fry made it clear that he did not believe the rescue package from Weigl was good enough to secure Super Aguri's future.

He said "It would appear unlikely that a company the size of Weigl is able to support a competitive Formula One team, unless of course there are other partners of which we have not been made aware."

Fry is a goat.
Why they got rid of Richards is beyond me. Richards may be an arsehole, but he has been a very successful arsehole. He would have got Honda decent results.

#35 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:45

Originally posted by Gecko


Absolutely, if Honda want's to fund the whole operation by themselves, that's their own matter, they are certainly more than capable of doing so. However, the word goes that this was not their original plan but rather a failure of the management .

I don't disagree with that. It's a difficult environement. Especially given their lack of performance.
Having said that I applaud them for not being bean counters when it comes to Motorsport. They pour a lot of money into MotoGP, IRL, F1 etc... They fund both their own F1 team and Super Aguri. Of all car companies Honda are probably the biggest investor in motorsport.

#36 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:48

Originally posted by armchair expert

Fry is a goat.
Why they got rid of Richards is beyond me. Richards may be an arsehole, but he has been a very successful arsehole. He would have got Honda decent results.

Did you know Fry was Managing Director of BAR during Richards tenure?

#37 Gecko

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:57

Originally posted by Timstr11
I don't disagree with that. It's a difficult environement. Especially given their lack of performance.
Having said that I applaud them for not being bean counters when it comes to Motorsport. They pour a lot of money into MotoGP, IRL, F1 etc... They fund both their own F1 team and Super Aguri. Of all car companies Honda are probably the biggest investor in motorsport.


See, this is Honda F1's problem. Race fans around the world (me included!) can easily relate to Honda as a racing brand as it absolutely has the right heritage and mentality that appeals to us. It is only Nick Fry that most racing fans have a problem with. Honda already gained a lot of credibility this season both on and off the track by securing the services of Ross Brawn and pushing Nick Fry slightly aside. They seem to be back on the right track, but with recent quotes from Fry they are certainly not endearing themselves to the F1 fans. The sooner they ditch him fully the better.

#38 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 07:07

Originally posted by Gecko


See, this is Honda F1's problem. Race fans around the world (me included!) can easily relate to Honda as a racing brand as it absolutely has the right heritage and mentality that appeals to us. It is only Nick Fry that most racing fans have a problem with. Honda already gained a lot of credibility this season both on and off the track by securing the services of Ross Brawn and pushing Nick Fry slightly aside. They seem to be back on the right track, but with recent quotes from Fry they are certainly not endearing themselves to the F1 fans. The sooner they ditch him fully the better.

Honda (Fry) could have handled the PR side of this better. Aguri and Weigl are making Honda look bad in the press while for the past few year Honda have been bailing them out with millions and millions. In the mean time, Aguri Suzuki has failed to make his team self supporting.

#39 Uwe

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:06

Originally posted by Timstr11
Or did you just make it up to join the Fry-bashing bandwagon that seems to be so popular on this BB.

When I read the article from Michael Schmidt that was the reason for me starting this thread I joined the Fry-bashing bandwagon as well. Michael Schmidt is a motor journo I enjoy reading and he usually offers deep insights into F1 without being a muckracker at all.

And what he had to write about Honda and Nick Fry in 2007 was indeed hair-raising. You can only come to the conclusion that Nick Fry is a terrible F1 manager and the worst thing that could have happened to Honda. He suffers from the "things are like this because I want them to be like this" syndrome and his actions were directly responsible for Honda's woes in 2007. I would fire him today rather than tomorrow.

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#40 armchair expert

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 09:41

Originally posted by Timstr11
Did you know Fry was Managing Director of BAR during Richards tenure?


Didn't know his exact position, but I knew it was senior. His form since taking over BAR/Honda, certainly makes me wonder how he did so well at Prodrive.
On another thread, it was mentioned (not sure if it was sourced) that Fry had squashed other potential offers for Super Aguri. Fairly short-sighted if true.

#41 Muz Bee

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 10:02

Since Honda scored it's first and only win of the modern era under Dave Richards, their stocks have plummeted. That much is beyond dispute. As Fry has been at the helm and Honda's efforts become more and more woeful the only logical move by Tokyo would surely have been to sack him. That they didn't is cause for speculation. Fry got rid of Willis, one of their best men, the livery experiment was just embarrassing. Didn't anyone tell Nick that F1 is a TV sport? It may have looked cool in an art studio but it's shite trundling around behind privateer Hondas at the back of the field on TV. Every twist Nick has taken has lloked like a blind alley until somehow they managed to secure Ross Brawn.

I guess Ross Brawn likes a real challenge. Given the steady improvement in results under Dave Richards it was a shock when he was shown the door.

#42 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 10:50

Originally posted by Muz Bee
Fry got rid of Willis, one of their best men, the livery experiment was just embarrassing.

Given the steady improvement in results under Dave Richards it was a shock when he was shown the door.

Fry did what Honda wanted.
The Honda board wanted to get rid of Willis. His technical direction was not bringing them any further up the grid as they were stuck in a rut technically.
They needed a change, desperately.
They also knew Brawn was going to be on the market so it worked out fine in the end.

If Richards was so wonderful, why was the 2005 car so slow. They could not build on the good 2004 year. The 2005 car was designed/built under Richards/Willis's leadership.

If Willis was so great, why weren't things a lot better in 2006? All these years they started with a slow car and had to try and claw back performance during the year.

#43 Burai

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 10:54

I think most of the responses in this thread are proof enough that Nick Fry is doing an absolutely fantastic job. Honda have you all fooled.

Let's understand exactly what's going on at Honda; The Japanese are running the team and Nick Fry is their go-between. He's the guy that puts his face out there publicly so that the true top brass don't have to. Anything bad that happens is blamed on him, anything good that happens is credited to Honda.

Take the current situation. Honda have run out of patience and budget for Super Aguri, but don't want to be seen as the ones who put them out of business and left Takuma Sato without a drive. It would be a PR nightmare in Japan. So the puppet goes in and does it all for them.

That you guys think that Nick Fry has some personal vendetta against Super Aguri and barred them from Istanbul Park for showing them up last year and that Honda are still supporting them just goes to show how well this particular system works. Honda have their hands up his arse, you just can't see their lips moving.

#44 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:04

Originally posted by dawg_7529
Let Richards stay in rallying and leave F1 for the big boys.


Anyone else noticed the late model Subaru Impreza sedans adopting an over-elaborate V8 Supercar style roll cage design - with the arrival (now deperature) of a V8SC engineer? Quite a lot of needless weight compared to the light-weight, paired down, moderately stiff, marginally unsafe efforts of their rivals at Ford or Citroen.

#45 Uwe

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:16

Originally posted by Timstr11
Fry did what Honda wanted.
The Honda board wanted to get rid of Willis. His technical direction was not bringing them any further up the grid as they were stuck in a rut technically.

This is rubbish. Fry wanted to present black numbers to Honda at the end of 2006 so he fired all the expensive and experienced designers and hired a kindergarden instead. With predictable results in 2007.

#46 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:27

Originally posted by Uwe

This is rubbish. Fry wanted to present black numbers to Honda at the end of 2006

YOU are talking rubbish as obviously you are ill informed. Go back to news items published here at autosport.com and you will find that the Honda board wanted to get rid of Willis. The team was stuck. They said he was too conservative.

Originally posted by Uwe
so he fired all the expensive and experienced designers and hired a kindergarden instead. With predictable results in 2007

Alperin-Bruvera (head of aero at the time) and Kevin Taylor (chief designer at the time) had been with the team for AGES. They were the leading people in the design of the 2007 car. They have both left the team in the mean time.

When the new aero lead people arrived last year, they binned the designs for the 2008 car and started from scratch.

#47 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 12:02

Originally posted by Timstr11
I read all the news items on autosport.com the past few days. Never seen it. Why don't you just admit it was a fabrication on your part.


I saw the story, too. "Super Aguri trucks denied entry at Turkey" and it had a pic of a bunch of the transporters. This was at around 3am EDT.

Track officials said they had denied Aguri equipment entry due to word from Nick Fry.

I have no horse in this race.

Not a fabrication.

#48 Racer Joe

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 12:04

Originally posted by BuonoBruttoCattivo


Absolutely... :up:
His desire to see Super Aguri sink is despicable, contradicting Honda corporate.
Why this man wasn't fired by the Japaneses in 2005, when the secret fuel tank and suspension story came to surface???
Unlike the other cocks in the paddock, Fry is not even successful at his work. :down: :down:


I think Super Aguri really needs to stand on its own feet rather than expect to be permanently propped up by Honda. Honda never intended to fund two teams in F1 and it seems like unless they stand their ground and say no more that is what they will end up doing.

If Honda corporate really wants to keep supporting SA things would not be the way they are now, with SA being on life-support. They can see that it is completely untenable to keep supporting SA given that they need to build their own cars in the not too distant future. If they can't survive being, literally, given cars to run, what hope have they got?

Honda may end up bankrolling them, yet again, because of various factors, not the least of which is Takuma Sato. But there is no doubt they don't want to do it.

In this Nick is just a mouth piece.

#49 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 12:07

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/67142

I don't care if he's being told to say this or that, Nick Fry is a toolbag.

#50 Timstr11

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 12:10

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker


I saw the story, too. "Super Aguri trucks denied entry at Turkey" and it had a pic of a bunch of the transporters. This was at around 3am EDT.

Track officials said they had denied Aguri equipment entry due to word from Nick Fry.

I have no horse in this race.

Not a fabrication.

:mad: That's not what the argument is about. David M. Kane added a sentence between quotation marks that Fry apparently said: "we haven't been able to find a sponsor in a year, how can they do it in a week?" David M. Kane just made up this remark, just to add spice to his argument.