Honda Racing chiefs Nick Fry and Ross Brawn say they remain fully focused on securing a buyout of their team by the end of January, after denying reports a deal had been completed with Mexican businessman Carlos Slim.
Stories emerging out of South America on Saturday, plus a report in Italian newspaper La Stampa, claimed that Slim had agreed a deal that would see him takeover Honda before the start of the season. It was suggested the team's drivers would be Jenson Button and Bruno Senna.
However, on the back of representatives of Slim denying outright a deal is in place, both Brawn and Fry say that the situation remains unchanged from before Christmas as they aim to resume negotiations with what are believed to be four interested parties in the New Year.
Speaking about the Slim buyout rumours, Brawn told The Daily Telegraph: "We would love it if it were true, but it's pure speculation from various members of the media. It's just been one of those rumours which has developed a life of its own."
Brawn added: "There has been a huge amount of interest. It's now got to the stage where we need to filter out the serious from the not so serious. We're all hopeful that something will happen and we're anxious to turn up the wick again in the new year."
Fry told autosport.com: "While it would be inappropriate to comment on any one potential purchaser of the team, Ross and I are very pleased with the level and calibre of interest in our team and we hope that we can bring this to a conclusion by the end of January. In the meantime, preparations for Melbourne continue."
The Mexican Escuderia Telmex, backed by Slim's company, also denied that a deal was in place for him to buy Honda in a statement issued on Saturday.
"Escuderia Telmex informs that Carlos Slim Helu has not acquired nor has any negotiations for this aim with the Honda Formula One team. All the information on this subject lacks foundation and is completely false."