Fry hopeful Honda team will be sold UPDATE #3 (GMM) David Richards has not denied reports he could be interested in taking over the Honda team.
In the wake of the Japanese manufacturer's decision to pull out of the sport, Richards - the Prodrive boss who ran the team's previous BAR incarnation until 2004 - has been cited as being possibly involved in the rescue of the Brackley based outfit.
The Daily Mail claims that the 56-year-old Briton, who fell out with Jenson Button prior to leaving the team four years ago, has been in touch with two interested buyers who want him to lead the project.
It is believed the two parties could be Dubai Investment Capital, who through Magma Group nearly bought Honda-powered Super Aguri earlier this year, and Formula 3 figure Trevor Carlin.
"I'm keeping an open mind," Richards said. "You could say that the facilities Honda have make it an attractive proposition but I disagree.
"The overheads are not what would be needed in an age when formula one is cutting costs. I won't rush into anything," he added.12/06/08 "In the last 12 hours, we've had three serious people come to us and suggest they would like to buy the team, so we're still hoping to be there in Melbourne," Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry told the BBC.
A source told The Daily Telegraph in London that a deal could be announced "by the end of the weekend." The newspaper said the team would then operate with a budget one-third the size of Honda's, about £50-million ($93.5-million).
It is believed the chief potential buyer is Dave Richards, the chairman of Prodrive, a British automotive technology company. Richard ran the BAR team in 2001 but was replaced by Fry when Honda took over the team in 2004.
12/05/08 (GMM) Nick Fry on Friday said he is confident Honda will find a buyer for the Brackley based formula one team and be on the grid as scheduled in Melbourne next March.
Citing the world economic situation, in which sales of motor cars has crashed, Honda Motor Company announced from Tokyo that it will no longer be involved with the sport.
The team is therefore currently on the market, and in a race against time to find a buyer before the factory doors are closed.
Team chief executive Fry told the BBC: "In the last 12 hours we've had three serious people come and suggest they'd like to buy the team."
Honda, although uncompetitive in the last two years, spent most of last season working on its 2009 car.
Honda is prepared to assume any debts, and sell the team as a going concern for a nominal sum.
"I've no doubt Honda would have been in the top four next year without any problems," said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
"They've spent a lot of money to put themselves in that position so if anyone does want to be in F1 this is a team they should look to buy.
"It's a big opportunity for any company that's run efficiently to benefit," he said.
Fry revealed that should the team survive, Jenson Button is first in line for a race seat.
"He has a contract with the team for next year," Fry said, referring to the 28-year-old British driver.
He said a decision about Button's teammate, with Rubens Barrichello, Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi believed to be in the reckoning, has not yet been taken.12/05/08 The Honda CEO Nick Fry today revealed a trio of prospective buyers have already made clear their interest in taking over the team. The Japanese team have confirmed they are pulling out of the sport, a decision made in light of the global financial crisis and in a bid to preserve their core business activities.
The announcement has understandably sent shockwaves throughout the sport, and there are fears other teams could follow suit. However, Fry remains hopeful that new owners will be found and the team will be on the grid for the start of next season in Australia on March 29.
"In the last 12 hours we've had three serious people come to us and suggest they would like to buy the team, so we're still hoping to be there in Melbourne," confirmed Fry, who added that the development of next year's car is already at an advanced stage.
"The one thing I would say is that this is a completely different situation from prior formula one teams stopping," he said. "This team is one of the best funded, has the best assets, the best resources in the pit lane, a fantastic group of people, and a car designed by Ross Brawn, who has won many world championships, and is ready to go next year. I think we are going to be a desirable asset for somebody. We are very hopeful, as are most of the commentators in formula one, that this team is going to take a big step upwards, so it is a big opportunity for somebody."