Why is a return to the F1 not on the horizon for Honda?
With this year’s Formula One season in full swing, 2014 sees the fourth consecutive year in which BMW have not entered a team.
Last year, former rivals Honda announced their return to Formula One from 2015, as a supplier of engines to McLaren. They too had been out of the events since 2010, after successfully racing as Mercedes GP that year.
In light of Honda’s return, CEO of Formula One Management Bernie Ecclestone made suggestions that BMW might be considering the move for next year’s event. However, the notion was quickly shot down by BMW’s motor sport boss Jens Marquardt. He said: “I don’t know with whom Bernie spoke. We have absolutely no intention of looking at other categories. We made a conscious decision to withdraw from Formula One.”
The words could fall on deaf ears of Formula One fans, who have watched BMW leave and return to the events in the early 90s and early 21st century. This time around however, Marquardt seems to be adamant that BMW will remain in its place – and there are a multitude of reasons as to why.
Financial reasons would have without doubt contributed to BMW’s withdrawal from the events at the end of 2009. As the world loomed in financial crisis, economic instability did not elude the bigwigs of the motor racing universe. At the time, BMW’s F1.09 chassis was not living up to its expectations on the tracks, and the company became increasingly frustrated by new regulations imposed upon motor engine technology. With little finance to play with, BMW threw in the towel and sold their team back to founder Peter Sauber.
With no financial incentive to return to the F1, it’s no wonder that BMW are sticking to their guns. Moreover, they have a whole host of other successful projects on which they are now focusing, which have proven far more beneficial so far. Today, BMW are more interested in their DTM and sports car activities, as stated by Marquardt.
“We are right on top of our current programme, namely DTM. In GT sports cars at the Nordschleife and in ALMS as well as customer sport programmes we are posting super results.
“We orientated ourselves around that which our customers recognise as being BMW. There is no reason to alter this concept. It is currently running very well.”
The F1 may not be the same without BMW, but it could be a very different event come 2015 when Honda returns, giving the folks at Betsafe the chance to re-analyse their current odds. Perhaps BMW may have a touch of nostalgic jealousy when they watch Honda return.