Fry: No conflict over team sale

Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry has totally dismissed suggestions about a conflict of interest in him trying to find a buyer for the team, as he denied reports on Friday that his talks to sell the outfit were subject to a government investigation

Fry: No conflict over team sale

A report in the Daily Mail on Friday said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) were investigating Fry's role in the sale of the team - amid suggestions he could be favouring himself as part of a management buyout.

However, the team and the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) that replaced that DTI last year, have totally dismissed the claims of an investigation into the sale.

And Fry claims that suggestions of an investigation could be part of a plot to scupper talks to save the team. Furthermore, he said the final say over who buys the team would be decided by his parent company Honda and not by him alone.

"I would like to make clear that Honda Motor Company, as the owners of the Honda Racing F1 Team, will decide on the future of our team following their decision to withdraw from Formula One," Fry told autosport.com.

"At all times during the process of securing the future of the team, senior managers from Honda Motor Company have been present at our HQ in Brackley to assist in making decisions and we have taken legal advice at all times, to ensure no conflict of interest.

"It is evident that attempts are being made by external parties to frustrate this process. However, we will not be deterred from our focus of securing a positive future for the team and its 700 employees and achieving our target of lining up on the grid in Melbourne for the start of the 2009 season."

The Daily Mail's story indicated that some of the team's staff had contacted the Daventry MP Tim Boswell about their concerns over the team's future, and that the Conservative minister had subsequently contacted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

A spokesperson for BERR ruled out any talk of them looking into the Honda situation.

"We have not received a letter from the MP Tim Boswell and we have not been requested to investigate anything," the spokesperson told autosport.com. "Furthermore this is a purely commercial matter and would be unlikely to involve us anyway."

Honda Racing also denied any knowledge of the investigation, but did reveal that they had been in contact with the BERR since the team were put up for sale in December last year.

"We have had meetings with BERR over the future of the team on several occasions over the last month and they have been kept fully informed of the status of any negotiations," the team stated.

"Honda has not received notice of any inquiry because we know that none has been requested. We have also received confirmation from BERR that they have not received a letter from Mr Boswell."

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