Although Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group was believed to be in pole position for securing the buyout earlier this month, Honda's CEO Takeo Fukui confirmed that, at the present time, the sale process concerning the Brackley-based team is not going in the right direction.
Talking about the potential buyout in a Tokyo press conference, Fukui admitted that “there are various offers for the team but we have not seen any serious buyer yet. We find the sale process difficult,” as reported by the Reuters news agency.
Fukui – who will reportedly step down from his CEO position within the company in June – made the comments only days after F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone revealed he has offered his support in securing the buyout earlier this month. However, it seems neither Nick Fry nor Ross Brawn responded positively to his offer.
“I tried to help with the management buy-out. They should have taken what I offered. It was a very good offer for everybody concerned. It gave them complete protection but they wanted to do things on their own. Now all we can do is hope and pray,” Ecclestone reportedly told British tabloid News of the World this weekend.
Mercedes-Benz have also revealed that the Brackley-based team will have until the end of Monday to guarantee the funding of a potential engine-supply deal for the 2009 season.