While British-American Tobacco will remain the primary sponsor of the Formula One team through 2006, Honda has bought out their partner in crime(?), taking sole ownership of the operation. While BAT provided the initial startup capital for the team and signed Honda up as an engine supplier, the Japanese automaker eventually purchased 45% of the team, and by the end of the year will take full control, putting in them in the same league as BMW, Toyota, Renault and Ferrari.
This new balance of manufacturer-driven teams could force Bernie and Co.'s hand in demanding more team-friendly concessions, or it could result in a new series entirely, as Ferrari's the only team to sign the current F1 contract past the 2008 season. The end of Formula One as we know it? Or just another year of drama, intrigue and greed? We shall see.
Honda to Have Its Own F1 Team [The Car Connection (2nd item)]
USGP to Fans: Drop Dead (Possibly) [Internal]