Honda 2nd F1 team? UPDATE #3 There were rumors circulating in Shanghai that the second Honda engined team will involve Italy's Daniele Audetto, who was in the paddock on Saturday. Our sources in Japan continue to insist that while others may be involved in Europe, the money and the team principal will be Japanese. There are many details still to be sorted out before an announcement can be made but it seems that there are no real political problems as the new team will almost certainly agree to sign for an extension of the current Concorde Agreement. The money appears to be in place and the only real question is whether or not the team is logistically possible in the time available. Certainly there is not much time to mess about and if the team is going to be ready for the start of the season a decision must be made soon. The deadline for entries is November 15 but work will need to start before then. Grandprix.com
10/10/05 This rumor is almost believable with deFerran going to Honda F1, you know how Roger takes care of his former drivers. "Sure I'll run your 2nd Honda F1 team, but could you give Gil a good job while we work out the details?" We know that's a stretch but if true Roger could have been working on this at his "under the radar" Poole facility since Gil went to Honda earlier in the year.
10/10/05 This Times of London article says, The rumors of the 2nd Honda F1 team include the legendary American Roger Penske running a team and ex-F1 driver Aguri Suzuki getting together with the Japanese Dome team to deliver up Honda Two. We thought Roger was doing business with Toyota. Hmm..... The article thinks the 2nd Honda team is suspect and may just be a ruse to placate the Japanese fans who were miffed that Takumo Sato was released by the BAR Honda team.
10/09/05 It has surprised more than a few seasoned F1 paddock residents that detail about a mysterious Honda-connected 11th team has remained so scant. Aguri Suzuki and Dome are now not believed to be involved, but that doesn't shed a lot of light on who is. Former Ferrari and Benetton driver Jean Alesi's name is now being mentioned, as is Michael Andretti's, but it all smells like pure speculation.
Mario Andretti has urged Michael Andretti to take Marco down the F1 path rather than the dangerous IRL path. Starting an American Honda team would be huge.
BAR-Honda test driver Anthony Davidson, who could race for the indistinguishable outfit, certainly hasn't been told a lot.
''I haven't a clue (about the team),'' the candid Englishman giggled. ''All I can tell you is that in Brazil, Honda asked me if I was interested in a race drive. ''I told them I definitely was.''
The regular paddock cynics insist that Honda's Suzuka speculation is merely a hoax to keep Japanese fans' minds off the fact that their F1 hero, Takuma Sato, has been dumped.
''I wish I could say more,'' Honda's Yasuhiro Wada insisted at Suzuka, ''but we're going to have to wait for the team to (make an announcement). Our part is said.''