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Stoddart insists F1 will survive

Paul Stoddart with Mark Webber
Paul Stoddart (left) feels Formula One will ride out the current storm

Former Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart is convinced Formula One can battle through the credit crunch.

Stoddart says the sport will survive but told BBC Hereford & Worcester that Honda might not be the only team missing from next season's grid.

"There may be one more casualty - I've got a feeling there is one more to come," he said.

"If that happens, you'll have eight teams lining up in Melbourne, probably running three cars."

He added: "It doesn't cost an awful lot to run a third car and most teams have got a test driver or a rising star they would like to give a try out to anyway."

Stoddart is well aware of the pressures of trying to raise the necessary finance to compete in a notoriously expensive sport, and he has nothing but sympathy for those Honda employees who are facing redundancy.

"It's regrettable and it's a fantastic bunch of people out there at Brackley," he said.

"Many of them before Honda were with BAR, and before that they were the Tyrrell team.

"They are a tremendous bunch of guys and it's really sad for them but, no, it's not surprising."

Despite the withdrawal of Honda and the possible loss of other teams, Stoddart is convinced the sport will lick its wounds and then come roaring back as it has done many times before.

"Formula One has always been able to self-govern itself and it will survive," he insisted.

"It has survived despite itself many times, but it is the greatest motor sport in the world.

"People will spend what they have - and some - and if you have one manufacturer who says, 'I can't afford to spend half a billion dollars a year and come eighth or ninth in the Championship', then you can understand that."

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see also
Big teams pledge to remain in F1
06 Dec 08 |  Formula One
Honda boss upbeat over team sale
05 Dec 08 |  Formula One
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
05 Dec 08 |  Formula One

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