HONDA F1 TEAM SOLD TO “SLIM”
According to La Stampa, Honda F1 has a buyer: Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim Helu. Reports claim he paid the single dollar Honda was asking. He trumped Force India F1 owner Vijay Mallya, who was suspected to want the Honda team only for its tech know-how, and Prodrive’s Dave Richards.
When Honda announced its immediate departure from F1 on December 4, it gave the outfit 27 days to find a bona fide buyer who would make a credible 3-year commitment to run the team. If the team did find such a purchaser, Honda said it would assist with finances and technical support. Carlos Slim has the finances and the experience: he is reportedly the second richest man in the world, and his companies are already involved in motorsport.
If the transaction proves to be true, and assuming the team gets funded properly, it will mean a few good things for the 2009 F1 season: it will add another privateer team to the grid, it will let Ross Brawn continue creating the team he’s been dying to lead since he was at Ferrari, and it will return the name “Senna” to the grid. Bruno, Ayrton Senna’s nephew, is sponsored by Embratel, a subsidiary of Slim’s Telmex company, and will certainly replace Rubens Barrichello as the one flying the Brazilian flag.