Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Since they announced their withdrawal from the sport, Honda have been in the headlines almost non stop. Even over Christmas, when F1 news was scarce, there were still rumours about Honda circulating the web. Let's take a look at what's happened so far, and where we are now.
Three or Four Interested Parties
Almost immediately, Nick Fry announced that his phone had been ringing non stop and they had at least three genuine potential buyers who had registered their interest. The number has floated around three, with sometimes as many as four being mentioned and sometimes it falling to two. There have been no names confirmed, but the speculation over who it could be is interesting to watch. Prodrive boss Dave Richards is in the frame, as his previous entry to F1 was unsuccessful. There is also talk that Force India boss Vijay Mallya could want another team, the same way that Red Bull have two. These are just guesses though, as Honda are being very tight-lipped about who has approached them.
Carlos Slim is Not Buying
Just after Christmas, a very believable rumour began that saw Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim as the new owner. It was said that Slim had been spotted landing his helicoptor at the Brackley factory (clearing the car park to do so) and was all raedy to take over. However, this has since been denied by both the team and Slim himself. He has never spoken to the team and is not interested in the sport.
Brawn Optimistic About the Future
Ross Brawn has spoken out suggesting that the main priority within the team at the moment is to secure the future - to ensure that the employees keep their jobs. He has even said that if it means stepping aside himself, he will do so. Brawn admits that he approached Ferrari for an engine, as his connections allowed him to do so. There is no deal confirmed them as yet, but perhaps we will know more when the team find a buyer. Brawn is optimistic this will happen, but admits the car will be unlikely to do any testing over the winter. This could be bad news, heading into a year where in-season testing is banned. However, as Brawn says, it is more important to secure the future of the team, than to aim for the top of a grid you won't appear on.
Please feel free to visit the forums and leave your opinion on this topic. There are many questions still to be answered, but it's fun speculating while we wait.