Emirates Deny Sponsorship of Honda Racing

Airline company Emirates denied all rumors linking them with a potential title-sponsorship over surviving (yet to be confirmed) Honda Racing team. The likelihood of the aforementioned company making a switch to Formula 1 is close to zero, as confirmed by a spokesman for Emirates earlier this week.

“We are currently not seeking new sponsorship agreements,” a spokesman for the Emirates was quoted as saying by the Dutch media, as reported by GMM news agency.

The potential partnership between the two parties would have more than likely secured Ross Brawn's future in Formula 1 for at least one year. The rumors suggesting Emirates would be interested in joining the Great Circle appeared after company's chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum had revealed last week that he considers sports' sponsorship one of the key aspects in Emirates' connecting to their customers.

Following the apparently finalized management buyout agreed upon by Honda, Brawn is desperately trying to get a sponsor to back his new team's operation in 2009. He has already arranged for an engine partnership with German manufacturer Mercedes for the supply of power train + Kinetic Energy Recovery System, but could find himself in the situation of not being able close the deal due to lack of funds.

Even if he will secure a title sponsorship in the next few days, Brawn's management of the Brackley-based team will likely begin with drastic personnel cuts. Out of the existing 700 employees currently (still) working for Honda Racing, approximately 400 are expected to be laid off without important compensatory packages, as reported by the British media last week.
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