Brackley, Tuesday: Leading figures at the embattled Honda Racing team have confirmed today that they are currently in talks with “nobody at all” about the purchase of their team, after the Japanese manufacturer’s shock withdrawal from Formula One in December.
Rumours linking Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and former Subaru World Rally Championship team principal David Richards with the team have turned out to be unfounded, and Honda team principal Ross Brawn admitted today that “zero” people were interested in buying the team.
“Basically, we’ve been making a lot of stuff up to keep our name in the headlines,” Brawn confessed at the team’s base. “I fabricated rumours that we had an engine deal from Ferrari in order to hide the fact that, should we by some miracle find ourselves on the grid for 2009, the cars won’t have any engines. Currently a couple of our top engineers are working out how to power an F1 car using elastic bands, but the best we can hope for is another transitional year.”
In the unique lexicon of the Honda team, it is understood that “transitional year” refers to a racing season in which the team’s performance goes from “bad” to “worse.”
When asked how many people had expressed an interest in buying the team, which reportedly will be sold for as little as £1, Brawn replied “Zero. The phone rang twice yesterday, but one was somebody trying to order a taxi and the other was Vijay Mallya, asking if we were throwing in the towel yet and if he could have our wind tunnel.”
The latest rumour is that Brawn and his sidekick Nick Fry are considering buying the team themselves, although how they would cobble together a budget capable of operating the team without having access to any engines remains to be seen.