Things could hardly have played out worse for Honda. It has poured what surely amounted to billions of dollars for years into its Formula One team with little effect. Then it brought in Ross Brawn, only to withdrew its support from the squad, then it sold the entire operation to Brawn while paying out big bucks to avoid an even bigger severance bill. And only then did Brawn turn the F1 team into a winner. That'd be enough to send some automakers scurrying to get back in the game, but not Honda.

The Japanese automaker's new CEO Tokanobu Ito has reportedly completely ruled out the possibility of a return to F1 "even if the economy improves," deriding the series as bereft of relevant development possibilities. Well, there you have it. No word, however, on whether Honda will support the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix at its Suzuka Circuit after Toyota withdrew its Fuji Speedway from the event.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty]