Steane Klose | Dec 8, 2008

Honda CEO and President Takeo Fukui has officially confirmed that Honda will withdraw from Formula 1 racing effective immediately.

Due to the current financial pressures facing all automotive manufacturers, Honda included, there will not a be Honda factory team on the starting grid for the '09 season.

It's an unfortunate but entirely understandable decision considering the immense costs associated with campaigning a Formula 1 team.

These costs, and the fact that Honda has seen a massive thirty-percent drop in sales in the US, no doubt compounded difficulties for the parent company.

So complete is Honda's withdrawal that the Japanese manufacturer has said that it will not be supplying engines with the sale, the team is to be sold with Ferrari sourced V8s instead.

AUTO-PRIX-JPN-HONDA

Though having had just limited success in F1, Honda did manage a Grand Prix win and a pole position in 2006.

However the benefits from racing often trickle down to a manufacturer's road cars, so the loss of this R&D platform may be missed by Honda in the future.

It comes as no surprise that an exercise as expensive as F1 would be first on the chopping block for car manufacturers struggling with a poisoned global economy and declining sales.

F1 fans will be hoping that Honda's departure will be an isolated case - but that's probably wishful thinking.

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