Fry says Honda have three offers

Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry says the team have already received three 'credible' offers from parties interested in buying the operation, but warned that any rescue deal would have to progress by Christmas if the squad's future was to be secured

Fry says Honda have three offers

Although the Honda Motor Company is pulling out of Formula One with immediate effect, it will keep the team afloat for the next three months so that they can be ready for the 2009 season-opener in Australia if a new buyer is found.

Fry believes his team could be a very attractive prospect for investors, but emphasised that there are severe time pressures on any deal.

"We have to have credible interest this side of Christmas," Fry told autosport.com. "Clearly that doesn't mean we are going to have a deal done by the end of the year, but Honda need to be convinced that there are serious, potential buyers out there.

"If that is the case then we are funded through January and February - so right up until Melbourne."

He ruled out the possibility of the team joining the new season late.

"If we get to Melbourne and we are not there, then clearly at that stage the situation will look very bleak," Fry said.

"I don't think there is an instance of a team not starting the season and successfully coming in later - even though the rules allow it. In theory we could miss four races - but so far history shows no one has ever done that. The proof of the pudding will be if we are in Melbourne or not."

Fry added that Honda had already been approached by potential buyers after news of the pull-out broke.

"It is going to be difficult, but we have had three different serious groups approach us overnight with a view to taking on the team," he said. "So, we will see what happens over the next few weeks."

He was unwilling to offer any details of the groups involved.

"They are foreign. I can't say any more," said Fry.

Despite the difficulties in attracting new investment to F1 at a time of worldwide economic pressure, and the team's poor results in recent years, Fry is confident that Honda Racing is an attractive proposition for potential buyers.

"This situation is very different from the Super Aguri and Arrows type situation," he said.

"They were teams with limited assets. We are sitting here in possibly the best F1 facility in the world, in which Honda have invested in very heavily over the last couple of years. We have the best full-size wind tunnel.

"We have engine dynamometers, we have a driver-in-the-loop simulator, we have a chassis rig downstairs, we have a contract with Jenson Button and we have got Ross Brawn, who has designed what he believes to be an outstanding car for next year.

"So there are lots of things that are on our side. The global economic situation is clearly weak but for someone who wants a fully fledged F1 team that is really teetering on the edge of what could be an extremely good season, this could be a bargain."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
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