The credit crunch hits hard!

It seems that the credit crunch is even hitting Formula 1 as Honda announce that they are to close it’s F1 team unless a buyer can be found before January. The Brackley based team has said that employees should expect redundancy notices before Christmas. Which leaves Briton Jenson Button without a drive for next season, but even if Honda were to continue, Jenson had no contract for the 2009 season. Obviously this was on the cards for some time which was indicated by Honda’s reluctance to re-sign Jenson or Rubens Barrichello. This leaves just 18 cars on the grid after the fall of fellow Honda powered team Super Aguri at the beginning of last season because of financial restraints. Now we have rumours flying about other manufacturers pulling out of F1 before the start of next season to protect their core business. It’s not cheap operating in Formula 1, upward of 300,000,000 pounds every year, that’s a lot of money to throw away in the current financial climate. From 2010 there are plans for teams to use a ‘control’ engine to reduce costs and level the playing field as everyone would have the same engine. But teams won’t have to take the ‘control’ engine and can still develop their own but it would have to be built to the strict standard of the ‘control’ engine. All teams would need to use the new Ricardo Transmissions developed gearbox, engines would be supplied by Cosworth/Xtrac. It just goes to  show that no-one is immune to the global credit crunch that we currently find ourselves in!

Liverpool remain top of the Premiership beating league strugglers Blackburn 1 – 3 at Ewood Park. Liverpool were clearly on top but had to wait until the 68th minute to take the lead. Blackburn came closest to scoring in the first half, Pepe Reina tipping Morten Gamst Pedersen’s shot onto the crossbar in the 27th minute. Ironically the half that all the goals were scored was very pour, neither team really putting a decent string of passes together. Xabi Alonso calmly sidefooted Liverpool into the lead after Dirk Kuyt closed down Andre Ooijer forcing the defender into a mistake. Yossi Benayoun doubled Liverpool’s lead in the 79th minute with a low drive across the face of goal. Roque Santa Cruz headed Blackburn back into contention in the 86th minute but that hope was short lived as Steven Gerrard made in 1 – 3 to the visitors putting Albert Riera’s squared pass into an empty net! Chelsea won away from home at the Reebok Stadium so remain one point ahead of The Reds, but still remain well ahead on goal difference.

Plymouth Argyle were narrowly defeated by bottom of the league Doncaster Rovers away at the Keepmoat Stadium. Rovers move off the bottom of the table with this win and well done to Sean O’Driscoll’s team for outplaying a piss-poor Pilgrims side, taking nothing away from Doncaster. Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock said that he was disappointed by his sides lethargic approach to the game after a run of excellent wins. Doncaster’s winner was scored almost out of nothing, Brian Stock’s speculative long distance effort finding the back of the net via the crossbar. Plymouth slump to 11th in the league, now four points adrift of a play-off place, but still very much in the hunt if Sturrock can inspire his team back into winning ways. *fingers x’ed*

Life here in Kansas has been reasonably uneventful really, family life is moving along nicely. But one sour point is O2 disconnecting my phone so I have reverted back to my T-Mobile PAYG sim card. Luckily O2 gave me an unlocked mobile phone although I did have to pay six pounds to get the phone debranded as I don’t want any of the O2 proprietary bullshit on my phone if I am not using their service. O2 have lost out because they wouldn’t wait a further six weeks to get my account paid up in full. What’s even more amazing is that T-Mobile’s PAYG roaming fees are considerably less than the £35 pcm contract phone from O2. They [O2] want me to pay up the rest of the £600 contract in one lump sum now, if I were to spend that sort of money I would buy myself an unlocked iPhone, besides it suits me to have PAYG at this time of transition!

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