Honda silent on bail-out report

Honda Racing have remained silent on reports in the British press on Thursday that the team could receive a government bail-out to ensure they are not closed down

A story in The Guardian suggested that Honda Racing were in talks with the British government to receive a share of the £2.3 billion bail-out of the car industry that was announced by Lord Mandelson earlier this week.

As discussions continue to find a new owner for the outfit, whether from an outside party or a management buyout, the story suggested that the team had entered discussions with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform about a rescue package.

The newspaper quoted a Honda Racing statement saying: "We have had meetings with BERR over the future of the team on several occasions over the past month."

A spokeswoman for BERR confirmed that the team would qualify for a support package under the terms laid out earlier this week.

"There is no reason why Honda Racing couldn't apply," the spokeswoman told the newspaper.

"We expect any company in the automotive industry or in its supply chain with a turnover of £25m or more to qualify [for the loans] if it has a viable project to deliver the objectives of the support package. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis."

It was suggested that Honda fitted the four criteria laid down by the government - having a turnover in excess of £25 million, being at the leading edge of innovation, reducing carbon emissions, and creating jobs. Likewise, any British team would also qualify should they be interested.

Honda Racing themselves issued a firm 'no comment' about the government bailout reports when contacted by on Thursday.

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