- Founded: 1964 and 2006
- Based: Brackley, England
- World Constructors' Titles: 0
- World Drivers' Titles: 0
- Grand Prix Victories: 3 (1965, 1967, 2006)
- Pole Positions: 2 (1968, 2006)
In some ways, Nick is representative of the new breed of F1 team directors: He does not come from the old school of racers who worked their way up from the lowest levels as mechanics to owning and directing their own teams. In fact, he did not come from racing, but from a corporate background in the car industry. Nick worked for Ford Motor Company for two decades in several capacities, always as a high level manager, before joining the Prodrive racing team owned by David Richards. He joined BAR in 2002, first as managing director, then CEO, applying his corporate style to today's car manufacturer driven F1.
A Brief History:
Like most of the other car manufacturers involved in Formula 1 today, the story of Honda in F1 has several chapters. The current one might be called chapter four, although the team itself refers to it as the third chapter. Honda started racing in Formula 1 as a full-fledged team in 1964, and stayed until 1968. During that time, it won two races. Then, as a supplier of engines to other teams, it raced from 1983 to 1992 and won 69 races. After an eight year hiatus, Honda returned as an engine provider and then part owner of the BAR team from 2000 to 2005. In 2006 it took full control and renamed it Honda.
The BAR Years:
At first known as British American Racing, the team was created by Craig Pollock, the manager of Jacques Villeneuve for the Canadian world champion. In its first season, in 1999, and with a Supertec engine, the team was the only one of the 11 to score no points. It clearly needed a better engine and a manufacturer to back it. So in 2000, Honda joined the team and it immediately finished fifth in the championship, with 20 points. The following year, however, Pollock ceased to run the team, and his job was handed over to David Richards.
More Recent Times:
After rising to as high as second in the series in 2004, it became clear that to make the final step toward the title BAR needed a complete implication of the Honda Motor Co. By then, Formula 1 had become a sport of manufacturers, with most of the world's major car manufacturers buying teams. The dropped to sixth in 2005. But in 2006, in the first year as the new entity of Honda Racing, the team took its first victory, at the Hungarian Grand Prix and rose to fourth in the series.
The Pull Out Of Honda:
With a strong driver pair in Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, and with a clear commitment for the future from Honda, the team had all the elements in place to continue to progress. But history intervened. Suddenly, as the world market for automobiles crumbled in the fall of 2008, Honda made a surprise announcement after the Formula 1 season that it was going to pull out of Formula 1 racing immediately. The company cited the economic downturn and a need to focus on its core activities. But many people wondered if it was also connected with the team's finishing position of ninth out of 10 teams in 2008.