Well, now that the final pre-season test of 2008 is over, the casual spectator may notice that the Honda F1 team are at the bottom of the timesheets, again, as they have been throughout the Winter! Now, i know this is only testing, but one must wonder, after the ‘dog of a car’ last year (Jenson Button’s own words!!!), are Honda actually going to turn up this year?
It was almost embarrassing watching the Hondas’ struggling at the back of the field in 2007, especially after their first race win in 2006, and because they have two of the most experienced drivers on the track (Button and Rubens Barrichello) – it became so bad, that they were being out-paced by Honda’s ‘B-Team’, Super Aguri, who are being threatened by money concerns in 2008.
Surely, the new car must be better for Honda, but testing would suggest that it is not going to be good enough, especially considering that all of the other teams will have made progress as well! Yes, Honda have said that they are focusing more on the 2009 season, to give their new team principal, Ross Brawn, time to make the necessary changes, but i would have hoped that they would have made some advances…
This, of course, is doubly bad news for Jenson Button, as it looks as though he will never get the chance to truly compete for the Driver’s Championship – if he has a season as bad as 2007, then i believe that he will have to find a new team! As for Barrichello, the prospect of a season without scoring a point – again! – must lead him to question why he wants to stay in the sport…he may have not won the Driver’s Championship, but he has had a long and moderately successful career in F1, so perhaps retirement may not seem like a bad option!
Of course, we will not be able to tell how the season is going to pan out until the first Grand Prix and we see some actual racing, but it isn’t looking likely that it is going to be a good season for Honda…and i for one am disappointed with this thought! So, come on Honda, try to get it right this time!!!