FIA President Max Mosley has said that his understanding of Honda’s position is not only are they willing to hand the team to a buyer, effectively, but to also assume the current debt as well as help the new buyer stomach some of the costs for 2009. The idea is to get the new owner set for 2010.
This makes Honda’s shock announcement even more bizarre in my mind. If they are willing to take their marbles and debt and go home, that would be one thing but to offer financial assistance for the new buyer for the 2009 year seems antithetical to their aspirations of immediately reducing their expense in F1. If you were willing to provide engineering and perhaps a supply of fresh lumps for the car through 2009, why wouldn’t you be willing to sustain the team for another year to see where the economy takes us. There could be a chance of recovery within 12 months that would allow Honda to remain. My hunch is that Honda are leaving for other reasons and willing to do whatever it takes to get out…including spending a bunch of dosh they said they don’t have right now.
To facilitate a takeover deal, Honda – despite pulling out of formula one with immediate effect – will “help” a buyer of its Brackley based team through the 2009 season.
That was the revelation on Wednesday of FIA president Max Mosley, as he spoke in Monaco at the Motor Sport Forum.
The Japanese carmaker Honda has already offered to assume any of the team’s debts, and then pass on the team and its impressive facilities to a buyer for a nominal fee as low as a single British pound.
Mosley confirmed to the Press Association: “If a serious buyer came along then Honda would help to keep it going.
“Any person would then be on their own in 2010, but they would get some help in 2009. That’s my understanding,” he said in Monte Carlo.
Former BAR chief David Richards earlier this week admitted his interest in the team, but said the “overheads” of such a previously well-funded operation are an obstacle.
But Mosley said Honda’s undertaking to help would make buying the team more viable.
“It becomes a reasonable proposition for an entrepreneur, providing he is satisfied we (the FIA) are going to get the costs down in 2010,” he added.