autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
F1 NEWS 

Honda team future looking 'good'

Honda detailEfforts behind the scenes to safeguard the future of Honda Racing remain on course, autosport.com has learned, despite Japanese bosses suggesting on Monday they can see no 'serious buyer' for the outfit.

A statement earlier this week from outgoing Honda CEO Takeo Fukui, following a board meeting in Japan, suggested that the Japanese car manufacturer was losing faith in being able to find someone to take over the running of the outfit.

"There are various offers for the team but we have not seen any serious buyer yet," Fukui said. "We find the sale process difficult."

However, despite those comments appearing to be a blow to Honda Racing's chances of preventing the team being shut down, high level sources have revealed that optimism remains high that the matter can be sorted soon.

A senior figure at the team said that despite Fukui's comments the situation was far from bleak, and in fact looked 'good'.

It is understood senior management made it clear from the start of negotiations that they only wanted to press ahead with an option that would safeguard as many jobs as possible at Brackley, and put the team in a position to fight for a top three spot in the world championship.

The most likely outcome from the current situation remains a management buyout, involving both team principal Ross Brawn and CEO Nick Fry. Sources suggest that rumours that the latter has been forced out are ‘premature'.

The hopes of Brawn and Fry being able to put together a deal have been helped with engine supplier Mercedes-Benz believed to be willing to hang on as long as it can to finalise a supply deal for 2009.

Although there had been rumours that Honda had a Monday deadline to provide guarantees to Mercedes-Benz that they had the finances in place if a deal was going to happen, the German car maker is in fact doing all it can to help ensure a positive outcome for Honda.

As part of its determination to support F1 and help ensure a full grid of cars in Melbourne, it is understood that Mercedes-Benz will hold on as long as it can for a deal to be put in place.

Should a management buyout of Honda Racing go ahead, there is still a chance the team could get some pre-season testing done before the first race in Australia. The group tests take place at Jerez in Spain next week and at Barcelona later in March.

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
EXCLUSIVE: First image of Brawn GP car
Brawn GP take over Honda Racing
Fry: Honda announcement due soon
Mallya approved Mercedes Honda deal
Honda hold fire on shakedown plans
Honda edge closer to completing buyout
Honda preparing to test 2009 car
Honda: No 'serious' buyer for F1 team
Ecclestone says Honda rejected his help
F1 'must change' before Virgin joins
Ecclestone: Branson wants Honda deal
Honda: Shutting down team an option
Petrobras keen on future F1 return
Senna under no illusions about Honda
Virgin latest to be linked to Honda
Petrobras rules out sponsoring Honda
Honda confident of racing in 2009
Coulthard warns Button over future
Honda deny discussing bail-out
Honda silent on bail-out report
Richards hopes Honda can find buyer
Haug: No deadline for Honda deal
Fry: No conflict over team sale
Mercedes open to Honda engine supply
DC: Button right to stick with Honda
Ferrari rule out Honda engine supply
Richards rules out Honda buyout
Dozen parties still in Honda talks
Brawn says saving jobs is main priority
Honda: Slim reports pure speculation
Slim one of four speaking to Honda
Richards considering Honda rescue deal
Honda to reveal details of buyer search
Button: It's Honda team or nothing
Williams's Parr expects another team to go
Richards: Honda's exit a lesson for F1
Button hopeful Honda will find buyer
Brawn interview: phoenix from the flames
Button offered Honda contract exit
Honda will accept 'small price' for team
Button stays positive after Honda exit
Villeneuve says Honda decision 'political'
Q & A with Nick Fry
Fry says Honda have three offers
Q & A with Max Mosley
Mosley warns more could follow Honda
Whitmarsh: F1 must slash costs
FOTA hopes Honda's team is sold
Honda boss apologises to Button
Ecclestone says F1 will survive crisis
Fry 'hopeful' team will race in 2009
Brawn and Fry 'committed' to save team
Honda confirm immediate F1 pull out
Honda set to reveal F1 exit plans
Nakamoto leaves Honda F1 team
Haymarket