Thursday, March 3, 2016

Will Ron Dennis ever let a rival F1 Team acquire a Honda Engine supply deal?

Yeah, but of course the new McLaren Honda will be "Bigger, Faster, Stronger and Better;" Rah Rah Rah Cisk-kuh-Boom? We can rebuild I-T, we've got the technology! Yet then again, there's only one way up after slipping to a pathetic ninth place in the vaunted Constructors Steeple chase last year...

Certainly I'm NO KURR-RACK Motorsports Journalist - or have any access to the "Double Top Secret" F1 Paddock lair! Yet I found a 'Wee bit 'O Solace with my conclusion over the somewhat surprising announcement of Japanese GP2 racer Nobuharu Matsushita being named to McLaren Honda's test and development driver role; ergo "Simulator Jockey" status.

As this made me wonder to Thyself if Honda's intent upon putting another Mainland product behind the wheel of a factory powered Formula 1 competitor, nee Customer or possibly even some sort of "B Team" alliance a la Haas's Scuderia Ferrari? For which I was happy to read after the fact that true blue F1 Journo'  Adam Cooper  quickly came to a similar speculative conclusion.

Although think Honda's already been down that road with "Super Best Friends," nee Super Aguri who showed up the factory Works Honda team quite badly!

Having only learned of Matsushita's name late last year when doing my yearly rendition of Shooting Starz', my attempt to spotlight aspiring Open Wheel Racing Young Guns near & abroad.

Hence, I came across Nobuharu's name as ART Grand Prix team-mate to Stoffel Vandoorne, runaway winner of the 2015 GP2 championship. As Stoffel will ironically race in Japan's top-flight Super Formula series this season to keep race sharp in hopes to becoming Bloody 'JENSE's (Button) successor in 2017.

Yet arguably, Nobuharu's got some racing creed, having won the 2014 All Japan Formula 3 championship, which made me think of Taku-san, nee Takuma Sato, albeit Taku devastated British F3 instead, winning the championship convincingly for Carlin with a dozen wins en route to Formula 1.

Having previously attempted chronicling thee majority of Japanese drivers reaching Thy pinnacle  'O motorsports, nee Formula 1 in a long ago story, I'm pretty certain that  Nobuharu  bears NO connection to the illustrious "King Hiro" of IndyCar fame! Aka  Hiroyuki "Hiro" Matsushita...

Meanwhile, the most affable "K-Squared," aka Kamui Kobayashi, the last Japanese F1 driver left the sport with a whimper due solely to Caterham's implosion! Although surely he'll always revel in standing atop Thy Podium in Japan! Being only the second ever Japanese driver to do so at Suzukre', (Suzuka) which Aguri Suzuki preceded him by 22yrs and Sato is only the third Japanese ever to Podium, doing so at Indianapolis circa '04.

Ironically Kamui finished P3 at Suzuka in 2012 behind the wheel of a Sauber-Ferrari before being let go after three seasons with the team. As rumours suggested late last year that the struggling Swiss "Privateer" Ferrari customer team could be in line for Hondre' PU's as early as 2017, with a team spokesperson saying that talks had occurred...

Yet if such a move happened, would Sauber be willing to push another driver "Sideways" a la the Giedo van der Garde Affair? As I can't see "Broom Hilda" sweeping aside Felipe Nasr's lucrative Banco du Brasil dowry or Marcus Ericsson's sizeable Kroner's coinage; Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!

While lastly, as James Allen laments, it'll be interesting to find out what the Fine Print specifies in regards to how many customer lumps'; Err Power Units the manufacturers are now required to make available to the competition, in regards to Red Bulls previous wailing over not being able to land a top-notch PU; Waaahh!

Noting how surely Chris Horner will once again be angling for a supply of Hondres' next year.

Since I suppose the ultimate in-your-face gesture Thy Ronster' could muster towards Chris Horner for poaching his previous wristwatch sponsor would be ensuring that Sauber gets the Honda engines instead of Red Bull, eh?