Newspapers claim Honda F1 deal done

Ross Brawn (right) is tipped to lead the former Honda team

Ross Brawn (right) is tipped to lead the former Honda team

Several newspapers this morning are claiming a deal to rescue the Honda F1 team has been done.

According to The Times:

Sources close to the Brackley-based outfit confirmed last night that the deal is going ahead and that the team will conduct a ??shakedown?? test of their new car at Silverstone next Thursday, which will be Button?s first outing in the new machine.

The management buyout is being led by Ross Brawn, the team principal and former Ferrari technical director, and will be funded by a combination of money from Honda itself for this year, funds from Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One commercial rights-holder, and commercial sponsorship. Recent reports suggested that Sir Richard Branson?s Virgin Group could be a backer but this was being ruled out by informed sources last night.

The Daily Telegraph claims the deal has been secured with money from Honda:

It is likely to mean up to 300 jobs lost at their base in Brackley, Northamptonshire, and a pay cut of roughly $7.5million (??5.2million) for British driver Jenson Button.

Chief executive officer Nick Fry, team principal Ross Brawn and three other directors have finally convinced Honda’s board in Tokyo to hand over a sum, believed to be in excess of $100million, to enable the new team to continue racing in 2009 at least. It would have cost the manufacturer roughly the same amount to wind up the company.

Jenson Button is widely tipped to retain his seat and will drive the car at a test next week. One of two Brazilians – Rubens Barrichello or Bruno Senna – will drive alongside him.

Is this really the end of the agonising wait to find a buyer for Honda, over two months since they were put up for sale?

Read more: Honda: a one-off or the first of many?

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59 comments on Newspapers claim Honda F1 deal done

  1. Someone is probably going to make some money out of this – whoever correctly guesses the new name of the team and buys the url first…

  2. I’ve never been a huge fan of Tyrell/BAR/Honda, but I really hope that this goes ahead – it would be great for F1. I’d rather see Rubens than Jenson get the shoo-in seat, but I doubt that that’ll happen…

  3. manatcna said on 27th February 2009, 23:07

    How about TTFKAH ?

  4. YeaMon said on 28th February 2009, 3:06

    Todd- “All good news that they’ll be on the grid, along with the potential return of rubens since bruno is now in DTM apparently.”

    Is this 100% true? Because I would really like to Rubens back.

  5. Great news if it is true, and best wishes to anyone who finds themselves out of a job in the face of the deal.

    After the terribly bland (2006 and 2008) or just plain terrible (2007) paint jobs, gotta wonder what the car will look like once it is ready to go with the sponsorship.

  6. bananaman said on 28th February 2009, 12:27

    When BAR started, I knew the team wouldn’t continue with that name because of the incoming ciggie advertising restrictions. And I was secretly hoping that the team would morph into a Honda and… Lotus partnership. Totally fanciful, I know, but wouldn’t it be great to see Lotus back?

  7. I do like Rob’s suggestion of “I can’t beleive its not Honda”, but the way the team is going they’d be better off calling themselves “U-turn F1″. Actually “UF1″ is not bad, although maybe a little close to USF1. I like Xonda too, but maybe a little too close to Zonda, also gives Honda themselves too much credit.

    But Brackley F1 is the most boring name ever and on no account should be adopted. Surely they can come up with something better than that? Although their livery of the last couple of years seems to suggest otherwise :(

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