Honda is in the news again. No, not because they stole a bit of limelight during race weekend by inviting the Beckhams over to attend the grand prix (they probably figured this was their only chance at positive PR, what with their earth cars really). Not even because they have made poor Jenson Button seriously contemplate retirement. “I’m in this sport to win and I won’t want to keep on finishing eighth at best” says Jense, and understandably so. He has already been demoted from “The British motorsporting hero” to “chappie who was mucking around before Hamilton happened”. And if things get any worse with the development, he could potentially be faster if he just parked the car and tried legging it. “To be honest, I’d find this too tough to handle” remarks Button, “If this continues then maybe in a couple of years I’ll just call it a day and go and find something else to do”. Of course, he is no doubt inspired by our Schumi here, who has found so much else to do after retirement that he’s too busy dashing off from one exotic vacation spot to the next, all the time contemplating on how he could help Ferrari while sunbathing in Miami beaches. Anyway Jenson is not yet giving up – “The positive outlook is to say we can start winning races again next season and my confidence in my ability remains high”. That is all very well, nothing like confidence and all that…but we are not entirely sure what he means by “winning races again”…after all Jense has just won one solitary F1 race his entire life. Not meaning to nitpick of course.

metal_plate.jpgOh well, we are deviating from the topic though, which would be why Honda is in the news. And that would be because they are purloining more men from other teams than it would take to invade a country. We have already discussed Honda and their army of aerodynamicists, and we have also discussed team hopping at length (link). Maybe it is time to bring back the iron-clad contract dogtag to counter Honda’s recruitment drive. How are teams supposed to concentrate on car development in peace, knowing that any time an engineer leaves for a cup of coffee he might end up in the Brackley cafeteria? Honda’s latest acquisition is Jorg Zander, previously chief designer at BMW, who will be the new deputy technical director at Honda. He will be joining Loic Bigos previously from Williams. No, we don’t think Zander brought along the BMW F1.07 design manual, it’s hardly the standard practice in the sport. But if Mario Theissen looks askance at Nick Fry the next time they meet, you know why.

Already Nick Fry is not on the best of terms with Ron Dennis. This is because when Ron was busy sobbing to the assembled journos to reiterate McLaren’s integrity, Nick Fry didn’t see it fit to mention he had conducted a joint job interview with Stepney and Coughlan just a while back…naturally one doesn’t jump into the frying pan willingly. Nick claims he was in Japan at that time, but Ron is quite cross because there is such a thing called telephone you know. Still the good news is that Max Mosley doesn’t think Honda is involved in the espionage scandal or has anything to do with it for that matter – Nick did interview the suspects, but that was bound to happen considering he was interviewing nearly the entire paddock.

“This is the latest in a series of key appointments that we have made in order to bolster our team,” says senior TD Nakamoto, so maybe there’s more to come. Good luck to them on getting the earth car up to speed. Meanwhile 11 days to go for the next race and yet another potential Ferrari 1-2. Forza.