Ecclestone says Honda rejected his help

Bernie Ecclestone says that Honda Racing rejected his offer of financial help with a management buy-out for the team

Ecclestone says Honda rejected his help

According to the News of the World, Ecclestone had approached team bosses Nick Fry and Ross Brawn to assist with their efforts to save Honda, but was turned down.

The newspaper says that Ecclestone offered £100 million for a share of the team, with Fry and Brown each retaining a 17.5 per cent stake under his plan.

"I tried to help with the management buy-out," the Formula One supremo told the newspaper.

"They should have taken what I offered. It was a very good offer for everybody concerned. It gave them complete protection but they wanted to do things on their own. Now all we can do is hope and pray."

Earlier this week Ecclestone had said he would be keen to see Richard Branson's Virgin Group take the Honda on. Although Branson has made it clear that F1 needs to be more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly before his company could get involved, Ecclestone believes Virgin is now the only alternative to the management take-over or the closure of the team.

"I don't think anybody knows what is going to happen with Honda," he said.

"It is up to them to make up their bloody minds. But the team can go one of three ways. They either go with the management buy-out, sell to Richard Branson or they could simply just close down the whole thing."

Ecclestone added that one of his main reasons for wanting Honda to survive was the potential presence of Bruno Senna in their second car alongside Jenson Button.

"The silly thing is we have got Bruno wanting to drive," he said. "It would be fantastic for everybody to have the name Senna back in F1."

But he does not believe the sport will be damaged should Honda Racing fail to secure their future.

"If we lost a McLaren or Ferrari or somebody like BMW, people would wonder what's going on," Ecclestone said. "But I don't think that will be the case with Honda. They didn't do too much last year, did they?"

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