Honda Set to Run Second F1 Team

Honda are close to giving the green light to running a second Formula One team next season, Autosport-Atlas has learned

Honda Set to Run Second F1 Team

After Takuma Sato revealed on Tuesday that he was in talks with a mystery 11th team about a deal for 2006, sources have told Autosport-Atlas that the new outfit are set to be backed by Honda themselves.

It is believed that the plan is for them to operate alongside the newly bought-out BAR team - although Honda chiefs are believed to be keen for their second outfit not to be labelled as a 'B-team' as such.

Honda are especially keen for the new team to be viewed as their own entity, despite the backing they will have from the Japanese manufacturer.

Autosport-Atlas understands that the Japanese car manufacturer are in the final stages of discussions about the new team, and it is possible that they may find a partner who can front the outfit for them - to further distance the team from a direct link as a Honda B-team.

This partner could be a sponsor or an actual team to run the cars.

A high-level insider at Honda told Autosport-Atlas: "It is something that we are still in the process of sorting out. We do not want to say it is a B-spec team as such, but it will be run by people who have knowledge of F1 but have never been in F1 before."

One possibility is for the team to be dominated by staff from Honda's R&D facility in Tochigi who have previously worked on Formula One developments for BAR.

Sources have claimed that Honda have decided to make news of their plans public in a bid to placate the Japanese fans and media, who have been left furious that BAR have chosen to drop Sato from the team.

The news of plans for Sato and the new Honda team will certainly reduce the possibility of Honda and BAR facing a backlash at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

"Everyone was mad about Taku," said a source. "The fans would not have left us alone if we did not say something."

Sato is the obvious number one candidate for the team, while BAR test driver Anthony Davidson would also be a leading contender thanks to his impressive work for them over recent seasons.

Although it is too late for the new team to build their own car from scratch, it is possible that they could run versions of this year's BAR007 - as long as they made sure that they owned the intellectual property rights to the cars.

They would also have to construct the cars themselves rather than use the actual old BAR007 chassis.

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