F1: Richards “Open” about Honda Rescue - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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F1: Richards “Open” about Honda Rescue

F1: Richards “Open” about Honda Rescue

Written by: SPEED Staff / GMM 12/08/2008 - 07:40 AM
London, UK Richards ran BAR, the squad that morphed into Honda Racing, until 2004.
David Richards has not denied reports he could be interested in taking over the Honda team.

In the wake of the Japanese manufacturer's decision to pull out of the sport, Richards – the Prodrive boss who ran the team's previous BAR incarnation until 2004 – has been cited as being possibly involved in the rescue of the outfit.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper claims that the 56-year-old Briton, who fell out with Jenson Button prior to leaving the team four years ago, has been in touch with two interested buyers who want him to lead the project. It is believed the two parties could be Dubai Investment Capital, who through Magma Group nearly bought Honda-powered Super Aguri earlier this year, and Formula 3 entrant Trevor Carlin.

"I'm keeping an open mind," Richards said. "You could say that the facilities Honda have make it an attractive proposition, but I disagree. The overheads are not what would be needed in an age when Formula 1 is cutting costs.

"I won't rush into anything," he added.

Source: Speed TV Newsletter
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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F1: David Richards Eyes Axed Honda Team

F1: David Richards Eyes Axed Honda Team

Written by: SPEED Staff / GMM 12/06/2008 - 12:05 PM
London, UK David Richards (Autocar photo) » More Photos
Prodrive boss David Richards is believed to be perhaps the most serious of the prospective buyers of Honda's Formula 1 team.

As alluded to by Honda figures as well as F1 powerbrokers Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, there is already interest in the Brackley, UK-based team, which on Friday was put on the market by the struggling Japanese carmaker Honda.

To boost the chances of a sale, embarrassed Honda has offered to bear the team's outstanding debts, and offer for sale the excellent facilities of the squad for a nominal fee as low as $1.

The successful buyer would have to convince Honda that it could safeguardthe future of the team, even if many of the 700 employees would be retrenched as the annual budget is slashed from its current $300 million to as little as $70m.

The British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said the most serious buyer, believed to be the Prodrive chief David Richards, could be in a position to seal the deal by the end of this weekend.

56-year-old Richards is no stranger to the team, having been brought in to run its previous BAR incarnation in 2001. Prodrive was slated to join the F1 grid in 2008, but Richards pulled out when his plans to run a McLaren-Mercedes customer package collapsed.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Pro Drive's Dave Richards possible take over is bad news for Jenson Button, and possibly Nick Fry.
Hmm, Aston Martin engines in a F-1 car?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 09:05 AM
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I would love for Richards to take over Honda. Back when he was leading BAR they placed 2 behind Ferrari in the constructor championship. When I first heard the news last week I was working in Montreal and my first thought was Dave Richards!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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If you remember to which extend Jenson Button contributed to Dave Richards dismissal in 2004, he might hear Sayonara, should Richards take over.
In a Richards run team, bye bye Nick Fry, and how likely is Ross Brawn to keep his job?
It could be the clash of monster ego's.
Cheers
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 09:22 AM
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David Richards is one of the few who could do this and do it well. I would suspect Ross Brawn would stay, two reasons:
- there isn't a glut of money out there looking to buy talent - even Ross Brawn,
- David Richards has and can secure the technical resources Brawn would need. (I suspect Honda decided a long time ago that they were leaving; and as a result, reduced investment in development)

The real challenge David Richards will face is raising the sponsorship money in this global recession.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Richards leaves UK for F1 foray talks

Richards leaves UK for F1 foray talks
And hints at keeping Button aboard
21/12/08 14:30



F1-Live.com

Richards attempting to secure backing
As much of the Formula One world winds down for Christmas, David Richards has jetted out of the UK with a view to returning to the Grand Prix grid in 2009.

The British newspaper The Mail on Sunday revealed that the Prodrive chief flew by private jet to the Middle East for talks with investors who may be keen to bankroll the purchase of the withdrawing Honda team.

Bosses of the Brackley-based team, former Prodrive deputy Nick Fry, and Ross Brawn, have been given just a matter of weeks to finalise the sale.

Most pressingly, it is understood that Honda bigwigs in Tokyo seem willing to continue propping up the outfit only if a serious buyer is identified by Christmas, with an agreement signed by January 31st.

"There are a group of people in the Middle East who want to support a Formula One entry for me and have been very specific about it for a year now," Richards, believed to have travelled to Kuwait, said.

"But we have to agree when the timing is right. When you sit down in the cold light of day and realise the liability you would be taking on, and the huge restructuring of staff and resources that will be needed, investors will have to think long and hard before taking a punt," he explained.


"You will have to bridge a big gap in finance, probably for three years, before balancing the accounts," the 56-year-old pointed out.

Richards believes Prodrive is capable of taking on the challenge of F1, but admitted that the global financial crisis is a factor: "Sentiment and perception about the relevance of motor sport has changed in six weeks with the dramatic economic downturn."

"I have not ruled out getting back into Formula One, it's something I am very interested to do," the Prodrive boss underlined. "But the big question remains: is it too big a challenge at this moment in time? That's what I need to determine."

Richards also played down suggestions that because he and Jenson Button parted on less than glowing terms nearly four years ago, a reunion at Brackley in 2009 is unlikely.

"Jenson is an outstanding Grand Prix driver, the kind you would want to build a team around," the Briton said.

D.B. © CAPSIS International
Source: GMM
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Richards rules out Honda bid

Richards rules out Honda bid
''The current environment is too unsettled''
08/01/09 17:58



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Richards out of the running for the Honda team
Former Formula One team boss David Richards has ruled himself out of the running to take over the Honda F1 team.

"The cost-cutting process that has been put in place has not yet seen its full benefit," Autosport reports Richards as saying. "I don't think it will be until 2010 that you will see those issues roll out properly."

"The teams have still got a burden of overhead that is unsustainable. So consequently, with the window of time for entry, I just question whether it is right at the moment," he stated.

Richards had expressed an interest in taking over the team following Honda's shock decision last month to quit the sport ahead of the 2009 season and told the media in December that Subaru's decision to quit the World Rally Championship had 'cleared the decks' for him to look at the possibility of taking over the Brackley-based outfit.

Ahead of the Christmas break it was also reported in the British media that meetings with potential backers from the Middle East could result in a bid to purchase the assets of the team. Speaking at the 'Autosport International Show' in Birmingham today however, Richards ruled himself and Prodrive out of any such takeover.


"All I can say is that I have made it very clear that the only terms I would ever consider a return or an involvement was if I felt we could be competitive," he explained. "Nobody expects to win in their first year of Formula One. It has also got to be financially viable. You expect to invest but you also expect it to work. I just personally feel that the current environment is too unsettled."

Apart from his CEO role at Prodrive, Richards also heads up a Saudi consortium which owns Aston Martin which announced 600 job cuts from its 1850 strong workforce in December. The company is reportedly in talks to sell a stake in the firm to investors in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Honda has set a self-imposed deadline for this month for a successful bid to be completed.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 03:06 PM
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That really sucks! Time is running out for Honda to find a buyer in order to get on the grid in Australia.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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18 car grid and the third car issue

Repost:

18 car grid and the third car issue
Claims of potential contract breach

F1-Live.com

Car count an issue for the FIA and FOM
To boost the 2009 Formula One grid from its current 18 cars, teams ‘may’ be invited to field third cars.

That is the information of the Swiss weekly Motorsport Aktuell, which claims Honda's withdrawal has left the sport in breach of its contracts with TV broadcasters.

To get the numbers back up to what it claims is the minimum of 20 competitors, top teams including Ferrari and McLaren could be urged to each voluntarily field a third non-points scoring car.

This would require a change to the 2009 sporting regulations however.
'No more than 24 cars will be admitted to the Championship, two being entered by each competitor,' Article 13.6 states.

E.A, Source: GMM
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