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USA F1 team backed by Honda?


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#1 noikeee

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 13:58

http://autosport.cli...s.stories/52112

Strange story on the portuguese Autosport website. According to them, an american engineer named Ken Anderson is trying to gather support to start a Formula 1 team. He was an Honda guest at Montreal, having met several times with Nick Fry and Ross Brawn, and "sources close to Honda" say they would be willing to provide engines, gearboxes and KERS, with this package being paid by the north-american branch of Honda - this way the team's budget could be much smaller.

He is said to have got the support of several big american investors, one of large enough for Anderson to start hiring people for the team, as he is looking to enter F1 in 2009 already. Anderson is going to meet with Ecclestone this month.

As for the driving line-up, Takuma Sato would be certain for 2009 and the other slot would be Anderson's choice, who wants a young talent - this driver wouldn't need to bring a budget. Obviously since this is a portuguese press article, they try to link this to Parente.

What do you people think? I haven't seen any article about this in any other place, so I'm not sure it's very credible.

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#2 Perigee

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:11

Spend all that money, and then put Sato in the car?

Nice guy. Funny guy. Quick guy - sometimes.

He's a known quantity, and what is known is that there are better, more consistent, higher-achieving drivers available. If the Japanese fans al need to support a Japanese driver, there's already one available in a Williams.

#3 Hippo

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:12

Looks like that's the person they talk about, in case someone wonders:

http://www.grandprix...ref-andken.html

#4 Orin

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:19

Sounds very interesting. Presumably this wouldn't present the same level of commitment as Super Aguri so there wouldn't be a risk of diverting the main effort. Plus Taku returns! :D

With an American in the other seat it could be a great PR win for Honda. :up:

#5 BMW_F1

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:21

hanks for the info Hippo and Paranoik0. I like the idea but I think it would have been better to partner with Toyota and not Honda and put Kyle Busch in the second seat..

#6 noikeee

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:23

Originally posted by Perigee
Spend all that money, and then put Sato in the car?

Nice guy. Funny guy. Quick guy - sometimes.

He's a known quantity, and what is known is that there are better, more consistent, higher-achieving drivers available. If the Japanese fans al need to support a Japanese driver, there's already one available in a Williams.


I guess Sato would be there due to the Honda connection.

#7 Frank Booth

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:24

Since this would obviously be an advertising exercise I think the broad from Indy cars would be a shoe in for the 2nd seat.

#8 jcbc3

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:30

My kids, age 9 and 11, also have trouble making utterences without using foul language. :rolleyes:

#9 Perigee

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:30

Originally posted by paranoik0


I guess Sato would be there due to the Honda connection.

Undoubtedly...but surely they've given him more than enough support and loyalty already. There are more drivers than just Sato in Japan. I like they guy, but he's had his chance...time to move on with another driver imho.

#10 F1Fanatic.co.uk

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:42

Seems a bit of an odd rumour. Why let the Japanese Honda team (Super Aguri) die and then replace it with an American one?

#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:45

Honda has the IRL and Acura the ALMS. Why would they sponsor a backfield F1 team to get advertising in America? :confused:

#12 Beedeeai

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 14:46

Seems a bit of an odd rumour. Why let the Japanese Honda team (Super Aguri) die and then replace it with an American one?


Good point. Why did this guy not buy Super Aguri? Maybe he is speaking to PKF about buying the assets now but if he had got his act together just a month or so ago (and if he is in a position to meet Bernie now then he was surely in a relatively decent position a month or so ago) he could have bought a going concern.

#13 mclarensmps

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:12

Originally posted by F1Fanatic.co.uk
Seems a bit of an odd rumour. Why let the Japanese Honda team (Super Aguri) die and then replace it with an American one?


I thought the same thing, why not just buy up the Aguri operation when they had the chance?

#14 Al.

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:20

Originally posted by The Big Guns


I thought the same thing, why not just buy up the Aguri operation when they had the chance?


It will be cheaper now it has gone under, the big salaries will have possibly moved on or been laid off by the receivers so no need to keep them on/buy them off etc. Clean sheet, hire who you want.

Also is Leafield still owned by John Menard? If so an American group could neogociate the lease of the site directly with Menard.

#15 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:28

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Honda has the IRL and Acura the ALMS. Why would they sponsor a backfield F1 team to get advertising in America? :confused:

So Danica will have a ride

#16 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:35

Be cheaper just to sign her to a personal services contract for Honda road cars surely. At least in the IRL she has a chance to win.

#17 Timstr11

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:38

Originally posted by Al.


It will be cheaper now it has gone under, the big salaries will have possibly moved on or been laid off by the receivers so no need to keep them on/buy them off etc. Clean sheet, hire who you want.

Also is Leafield still owned by John Menard? If so an American group could neogociate the lease of the site directly with Menard.

The facilities are for sale as a going concern.

#18 shaggy

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:39

Why go into F1 if you are American ? If anything, they should look at IndyCars. The fact that they are not considering Indy should be enough of a hint as to how bad OW is in the US. That being the case, why go into F1 to be a backmarker and to be shown on tv at 7:00 am ? How will Sato help ? Get Rahal and Andretti into the team, that should be a no brainer.
This is similar to that rumor, a few years ago, that Hill and Gurney were trying to set up an F1 team. Obviously, nothing came out of it and Hill himself did not know about it !

#19 AyePirate

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:43

Originally posted by shaggy
Why go into F1 if you are American ? If anything, they should look at IndyCars. The fact that they are not considering Indy should be enough of a hint as to how bad OW is in the US.



erm.......All of the IndyCar's are powered by Honda.

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#20 Frank Booth

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 15:49

Originally posted by shaggy
Why go into F1 if you are American ? If anything, they should look at IndyCars.


I would only look at Indy cars as a feeder series at best. Hopefully in 4-5 years it will be a different story but right now the top Indy car people aren't even close to being equal to the back marker teams in F1 IMO.

#21 pingu666

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 17:44

err penske, chip genassi racing and andretti green are probably pretty decent setups, and some other teams too i guess, penske and chip run in nascar,irl,misc GT classes... sure there not up there in terms of self sustaining effort because its simply not needed in there markets.

torro rosso is very heavily relient on sub contractors too...

#22 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 21:36

Hmmm .... when I saw this on the Orange website a couple of weeks ago I dismissed it as bollocks. Maybe someone was better-informed than I thought?

#23 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 00:59

Nick Frye has aged 20 years in one year. He doesn't need another problem.

#24 drunkmunky

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:03

sounds like something that won't become a reality anytime soon, but if it does, won't last for very long.

#25 random

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:16

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII

So Danica will have a ride


That's what I was thinking, but I think 2009 is too early, and Danica makes a LOAD of money here in the states.

There's no American Honda driver nearly as well known as Danica. Helio Castroneves is probably just as well known in the States, but he's Brazilian.

I just don't think Danica is ready for F1, talk about being thrown in at the deep end... At St. Pete this year, Danica admitted she still wasn't fully up to speed on the street courses, she said she needed some more time. That's probably the truth, she didn't used to be so good on ovals either, now she's right up there. Still, that admission does Not bode well for her getting into F1 in 2009, or even wanting to get in F1 so soon.

So what other American, Honda drivers are there?

Ryan Hunter Reay
Marco Andretti
Graham Rahal
Buddy Rice

I just' can't see Andretti or Rahal going to a third rate F1 team in its first season. Both their fathers raced in F1, they know the score better than most. Hunter-Reay or Rice would jump at it.

#26 ClubmanGT

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:45

I'd hope that Dixon is well established enough to count as American :cat:

#27 sblick

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 03:53

I guess this would be based in England, which for me doesn't make it that much of an "American" team. If it was based in the States, which would not be smart, I would call it an American team. There are plenty of American companies that sponsor F1 teams but we don't call them American teams. If you have an American driver it doesn't make it an American team. Who cares if it is American Honda it is still a Japanese company.

#28 pingu666

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 04:03

didnt red bull want to have a american f1 team, back in the day?

#29 random

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 04:04

Originally posted by sblick
I guess this would be based in England, which for me doesn't make it that much of an "American" team. If it was based in the States, which would not be smart, I would call it an American team. There are plenty of American companies that sponsor F1 teams but we don't call them American teams. If you have an American driver it doesn't make it an American team. Who cares if it is American Honda it is still a Japanese company.

Formula One has long allowed teams to claim the nationhood they prefer. It really makes no difference where the factory actually is.

Eddie Jordan's team was "Irish", but the entirety of the team was based within a stone's throw of Silverstone.
From the late '80s to the early '90s Ferrari's F1 effort was not anywhere near Italy. It was based in Guildford, Surrey.
Even today, Renault is a "French" team. While in reality, the entire team is located in Enstone, Oxfordshire,

This would be nothing new, and nothing different. If they want to claim to be a US team, they won't be alone in the minor deception.

#30 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 04:10

Danica really isn't that good of a road racer IMO.

#31 random

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 04:18

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Danica really isn't that good of a road racer IMO.

Hell, in her own opinion she's got work to do on her road racing skills.

That's why I think she would turn it down flat.

#32 Al.

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 05:15

Originally posted by Timstr11
The facilities are for sale as a going concern.


Super Aguri puts down more roots at Leafield

For me they never bought the site, just rented the facilities from Menard. If someone were to buy the assets of SA that may well include the lease on the factory and equipment that SA didn't own.

Also I believe Menard still has MCTUK Ltd on the site, so I can't believe he sold it to anyone. He just rents out space on the site.

I don't know how the law works, but will the receivers be paying Menard the rent until they decide to break up and sell what they can of SA?

#33 Nathan

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 08:28

It would be for Marco if anyone.

#34 shaggy

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 10:56

Originally posted by Frank Booth


I would only look at Indy cars as a feeder series at best. Hopefully in 4-5 years it will be a different story but right now the top Indy car people aren't even close to being equal to the back marker teams in F1 IMO.

But for marketing, Indy would be better than F1 in the US. Even if the other races do next to nothing, you'd still have the Indy500 to salvage the season. At least, Pollock and KK did come up with something more substantial than any other plan I have seen recently - and we know how theirs ended.

shaggy

#35 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:01

Are you talking about their attempt to buy Arrows or the CART team that came as a result of not going through with it?

#36 united

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 16:06

American division of Honda has been putting a spoke in Honda F1 team's wheel for ages and is partially responsible for the collapse of HRD entry in F1 in late 90s. So such a sudden interest is pretty strange.

Besides Civic is being sold in the US like there is no tomorrow so why promote something that is already going well above expectations?

#37 ColdHeart

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 17:29

Here's some background on MCT from an article I found on Atlas a while back:

TWR plunged into liquidation on the back of Arrows's seven unsuccessful seasons at the top level under his ownership, and various assets, mainly facilities, were taken over by a consortium involving the Menard group and former F1 driver (with Arrows) and Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever.

The latter soon departed, but not before they transformed the TWR Group (sans Arrows) into Menard Competition Technologies and Menard Engineering Limited, companies aimed at providing engineering and consulting services to the motor and motorsport industries - with Menard's own IRL campaigns pencilled in at the top of the list.

Then, in November 2006, Menard, a US-based DIY chain, announced it had sold MCT and MEL to Magma Group, which fused the two companies and renamed the fused entity Ultramotive., which in turn rented the premises from Menard.

Super Aguri, headed by Aguri Suzuki, the former Arrows racer and first Japanese to score a F1 podium, had between Menard's purchase and sale of the consultancies, moved into a section of the Leafield facility on a tenancy basis.



#38 AyePirate

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 19:24

Originally posted by random


Even today, Renault is a "French" team. While in reality, the entire team is located in Enstone, Oxfordshire,
.


Even the engine program? I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that was in France.

#39 random

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 19:45

Originally posted by AyePirate
Even the engine program? I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that was in France.


You're right, the engines are made in France, in the same factory that makes (British team) Red Bull's motors. The nexus of any team is the factory, not at the engine shop. The factory is where the vast majority of the work is done and where the vast majority of the employees work.

A majority of the teams are based in Britain and a majority of those claim British nationhood. Yet none of their engines are made in the UK.

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#40 shaggy

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 20:23

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Are you talking about their attempt to buy Arrows or the CART team that came as a result of not going through with it?

Both. At least, they were more serious about it and had the experience and money. But if neither one succeeded, I wonder why anyone would want to try again.

#41 IOU 16

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 14:58

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Honda has the IRL and Acura the ALMS. Why would they sponsor a backfield F1 team to get advertising in America? :confused:


Especially when F1 is known in the US, but not widely watched.

It wouldn't get any media coverage, as eventhought Honda USA would pay for it, it is still a foreign auto maker.

Nobody really cares about American's in the IRL, so why would it be any different for a back marker running F1? Nobody cared about Scott Speed at STR.

You have 25 or so cars in the League and 5-6 cars in ALMS, what more is needed to boost advertisement in the US?

#42 FonzCam

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 15:11

Originally posted by random


You're right, the engines are made in France, in the same factory that makes (British team) Red Bull's motors. The nexus of any team is the factory, not at the engine shop. The factory is where the vast majority of the work is done and where the vast majority of the employees work.

A majority of the teams are based in Britain and a majority of those claim British nationhood. Yet none of their engines are made in the UK.


Aren't Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines (formally Ilmor) based in Northamptonshire?

#43 Beedeeai

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 15:29

With around half of the F1 races now in Asia surely it could start making sense for teams to base themselves in the States and indeed Asia itself? Transport costs would be cut, as might labor costs. No need to fly to test if they get the home location right...

#44 IOU 16

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 16:30

Originally posted by Beedeeai
With around half of the F1 races now in Asia surely it could start making sense for teams to base themselves in the States and indeed Asia itself? Transport costs would be cut, as might labor costs. No need to fly to test if they get the home location right...


That's a good idea. Why does Toyota need to be working out of a shop in Germany? Build your shop right next to the track you own in Fuji.


Wasn't Dan Gurney and Phil Hill rumored to be trying to start a US based F1 team about 8-10 years ago with Ford backing? I remember something like that.

#45 Beedeeai

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 17:13

That's a good idea. Why does Toyota need to be working out of a shop in Germany? Build your shop right next to the track you own in Fuji.


And cut costs dramatically whilst doing so. Sheer speculation but I'd imagine that the first team to base in Asia would be one set up from scratch there then there's no baggae of comparing to what it 'used to be like'. Was there not a time when Bernie himself threatened to move F1 out of Europe during the European Commission investigation?

#46 FonzCam

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 22:19

Originally posted by Beedeeai
With around half of the F1 races now in Asia surely it could start making sense for teams to base themselves in the States and indeed Asia itself? Transport costs would be cut, as might labor costs. No need to fly to test if they get the home location right...


If you just think in terms of the number of races in each region you are correct but 9/18 of the races this season are all within just a day or two drive away from each other. The European rounds are not just in the same region they are all connected by fast road links. If you based your team in Asia you probably only have 1 round within realistic range to send trucks so every race becomes a fly-away with all the logistical and financial costs that come with that. Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and China may be close but logistically they are much further apart then the European rounds.

Not only that but If the whole mid season from France to Italy (7 races in 3 months) were all fly-aways for your team keeping pace with developments would be a major problem. (just as we currently see for the teams for the first 3 and last 4 races where developments are locked down before the fly-away races).

Until we get a more balanced calender it will always make sense to base teams in Europe. Add 3 more GPs in America (north and south) and maybe shift a few more into Asia or Africa and you might start to think you would be as well off elsewhere but for now Europe is just to advantageous to ignore.

#47 paffett4F1

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 11:15

Originally posted by random


A majority of the teams are based in Britain and a majority of those claim British nationhood. Yet none of their engines are made in the UK.



For Clarification

______________________Main Factory_______________Engine Manufacture_________Additional Support, R&D etc
Ferrari __________________Maranello, Italy_________________Maranello, Italy
McLaren Mercedes________Woking, Surrey, England__________Brixworth, Northants, England______Stuttgart, Germany
Toyota__________________Cologne, Germany_______________Cologne, Germany________________Higashifuji, Japan
Honda __________________Brackley, Northants, England ______Bracknell, Berks, England*_________Tochigi, Japan
Renault__________________Enstone, Oxon, England___________Viry-Chatillon, France
Red Bull Racing___________Milton Keynes, Bucks, England_____Viry-Chatillon, France
STR_____________________Faenza, Italy___________________Maranello, Italy
Williams_________________Grove, Oxon, England____________Cologne, Germany
Force India_______________Silverstone, Northants, England____Maranello, Italy
BMW Sauber_____________Hinwil, Switzerland_______________Munich, Germany

* Moving to Brackley


So of the 5 different F1 engines I make that one German, one French, one Italian and two British.

#48 FonzCam

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 11:32

Originally posted by paffett4F1



For Clarification

______________________Main Factory_______________Engine Manufacture_________Additional Support, R&D etc
Ferrari __________________Maranello, Italy_________________Maranello, Italy
McLaren Mercedes________Woking, Surrey, England__________Brixworth, Northants, England______Stuttgart, Germany
Toyota__________________Cologne, Germany_______________Cologne, Germany________________Higashifuji, Japan
Honda __________________Brackley, Northants, England ______Bracknell, Berks, England*_________Tochigi, Japan
Renault__________________Enstone, Oxon, England___________Viry-Chatillon, France
Red Bull Racing___________Milton Keynes, Bucks, England_____Viry-Chatillon, France
STR_____________________Faenza, Italy___________________Maranello, Italy
Williams_________________Grove, Oxon, England____________Cologne, Germany
Force India_______________Silverstone, Northants, England____Maranello, Italy
BMW Sauber_____________Hinwil, Switzerland_______________Munich, Germany

* Moving to Brackley


So of the 5 different F1 engines I make that one German, one French, one Italian and two British.

You forgot either BMW or Toyota because there are six engines in F1 (Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes and Honda)
They are (number of teams supplied in brackets)
2 (3) German, 2 (2) British, 1 (3) Italian, 1 (2) French.

#49 paffett4F1

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:17

Originally posted by FonzCam

You forgot either BMW or Toyota because there are six engines in F1 (Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes and Honda)
They are (number of teams supplied in brackets)
2 (3) German, 2 (2) British, 1 (3) Italian, 1 (2) French.



Thanks :up:

#50 Rinehart

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:27

This sounds like Super America rather than Super Aguri, where instead of just putting a Japanese guy in a car, they have to put an American in the other one. All in all this will be about as successful as Super Aguri was, i.e. not very. Not bothered about small grids myself, if the other option is being padded out with tosh.