Slim one of four speaking to Honda

Honda Racing are in talks with four potential buyers including wealthy Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, autosport.com has learned, but no deal has yet been completed

Slim one of four speaking to Honda

Reports emerging out of South America on Saturday suggested that Slim, ranked as the world's second richest man behind American investor Warren Buffett, had actually finalised a contract to take over Honda.

Italian newspaper La Stampa also wrote that Slim had agreed a deal that would see the team line-up on the grid in 2009 with Jenson Button and Bruno Senna as their drivers.

However, although talks are progressing well, it is understood that the situation remains unchanged from how it was just before Christmas, with public confirmation of the progress of the buyout discussions unlikely before the New Year.

Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry had told autosport.com earlier this month that there had been encouraging progress in finding a buyer.

"We have had a high level of interest in the team since Honda Motor Co. announced their withdrawal from Formula One," Fry said. "Since that time, Ross and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with several serious potential new owners who have expressed an interest in purchasing the team."

Sources have told autosport.com that there are four parties considering getting involved - with Slim believed to be heading the running at the moment.

Although the identity of the buyers has not been confirmed, it is believed that apart from Slim they are Prodrive boss David Richards with the Kuwait-based Investment Dar Company (TID), Greek shipping magnate Achilleas Kallakis and an unidentified Swiss group.

Force India boss Vijay Mallya had also been linked with the team, but this is believed to have been purely an interest in the assets should the team have been closed and their facilities put up for sale.

Original contact between Honda Racing chiefs and Slim was made late last season, with discussions primarily based on a potential sponsorship link-up between his Telmex company and the team.

This came about through the team's interest in Senna, who is sponsored by Embratel, a Brazilian subsidiary of Telmex.

When Honda announced that it was to quit F1, the sponsorship talks changed into buyout discussions - with Slim recently making a big push to invest heavily in business expansion despite the worldwide economic slowdown.

Slim, who also owns the mobile phone company America Movil, recently increased his stake in American luxury retailers Saks to 18 percent. At the start of December his Inbursa brokerage in Mexico bought $150 million (USD) of shares in Citigroup after their price sank to levels not seen since the early 1990's.

Slim visited Honda Racing's Brackley headquarters just before Christmas, but the holiday period has put a temporary hold on discussions before talks can resume in the next week to try and sort out a deal in early January.

shares
comments
Drivers hail 'fantastic' Algarve track

Previous article

Drivers hail 'fantastic' Algarve track

Next article

Grapevine: Alonso in fresh Ferrari link

Grapevine: Alonso in fresh Ferrari link
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021