Honda in countdown to F1 rescue (GMM) The outfit currently known as Honda is facing a 10-day countdown to survival, amid rumours Bernie Ecclestone may be willing to invest in the Brackley based squad.
It was strongly rumoured this week that boss Ross Brawn is readying his troops for the 2009 season, with Jenson Button and Bruno Senna to occupy the cockpits.
But amid suggestions funding is only guaranteed for the first four races, Mercedes-Benz wants assurances the team can pay the full 8m euro price-tag for its customer engines, the Guardian newspaper said.
The publication also said the German manufacturer wants to be sure the post-Honda guise "will not have sponsors or a new team identity which in any way compromise the Mercedes brand".
As well as possible funds from Brazilian backers Petrobras and Embratel, it is also believed the departing Honda may inject some money because saving the Brackley based team is cheaper than dismantling it.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone's possible involvement has also been rumoured, whether in the form of advanced commercial revenue, a loan, or actual investment.
"I'd rather not comment on that," he is quoted as saying by The Times, "but we will do whatever we have to do to try to make it happen."
He admitted that the European Commission might not want the sport's commercial rights holder to also hold a team stake.
"I don't know at this stage, but there is a possibility that loans could be made or something," said Ecclestone.
A spokeswoman for the Brackley based team would not comment beyond clarifying that no announcements are imminent.
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