Brawn and Fry 'committed' to save team
|By Jonathan Noble and Dieter Rencken||Friday, December 5th 2008, 06:06 GMT|
Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry and team principal Ross Brawn are 'deeply committed' to finding a buyer to save the team, a senior figure within the Brackley-based outfit has confirmed.
With Honda Motor Company announcing on Friday morning that they are to withdraw from F1 immediately, pressure is now on the team's senior figures to try and come up with a rescue package that will help keep them alive.
Honda CEO and chairman Takeo Fukui told a press conference in Tokyo on Friday that talks would open with Honda Racing chiefs to try and find a way forward.
"We will enter into consultation with the associates of Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier Honda Racing Development regarding the future of the two companies," he said. "This will include offering the team for sale."
It is understood Brawn has already addressed the team staff to say that potential buyers have been lined up, and sources suggest moves are being made to secure a supply of customer Ferrari engines for 2009.
And Honda's marketing director David Butler has written a letter to the team's sponsors and partners confirming that moves are being made to find new owners.
In the letter, a copy of which has been seen by autosport.com, Butler wrote: "It is with regret that I am writing to inform you that at 13.30hrs Tokyo Time today (04.30hrs UK Time), Honda Motor Co. announced that they are pulling out from all Formula One activities at the end of the 2008 season.
"We are currently evaluating the future. The management team led by CEO Nick Fry and Team Principal Ross Brawn is deeply committed to securing the teamís future and we are engaged in seeking a new team owner given the high expectations we had for 2009 under new technical leadership in addition to the world class facilities and people here at Brackley. We will keep you advised of our progress."