Brackley, Saturday: News breaking in the last couple of days to suggest that the floundering Honda Formula One team has finally been saved and will compete in F1 in 2009 has been met with widespread apathy from fans of the sport, with most having “stopped caring” about the fate of the team.
“Well-connected” F1-related websites such as Planet-F1 and GrandPrix.com have notched up a healthy post count in recent weeks with speculation about the future of the Brackley-based outfit, combining the credibility of anonymous hearsay with the thrill of typing to spread scurrilous rumours about the involvement of people such as David Richards and companies such as Ferrari and Petrobras in the buyout. Only in the last few days have reliable sources like Autosport and F1 Badger finally indicated that a management buyout, led by current team principal Ross Brawn, will save the team and the career of Jenson Button. Maybe.
However, speculation about Honda’s fate has led fans to react to the latest news with disinterest. “We’re all tired of hearing about Honda,” one fan opined today. “Will they race? Won’t they race? It was all quite fun guessing to begin with, but now we’re a bit sick of hearing about it.”
Media interest in the Honda affair has dwindled as well, with British tabloid Metro choosing not to run an article about the team being saved, replacing it with exclusive photographs of Kimi Raikkonen stumbling out of a Turku nightclub. Even the specialist F1 media has abandoned the Honda story as “old hat,” with F1 Racing‘s latest editorial explaining how Michael Schumacher is to blame for the current sponsorship crisis in F1 instead of concerning itself with the future of Honda.
British fans are also said to be “not bothered” at the news that Jenson Button will race in 2009, despite rumours that the British has-been has had his salary slashed to just £7.5 million, and may have to sell one of his yachts.