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Mexican billionaire to rescue Honda?

NEWS STORY
28/12/2008

Reports in the Italian media suggest that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has "rescued" the Honda F1 team, even going so far as to claim that the driver line-up will comprise Jenson Button and Bruno Senna.

Slim, who made his money from Telmex, a telecommunications company, and is said to be the second richest man in the world, is already involved in various forms of motorsport, supporting a number of up and coming drivers.

One of Slim's key businesses is Embratel, a Brazilian communications company, which sponsors Senna, as he seeks to expand his business interests throughout Latin America and beyond.

While there has been speculation regarding Slim's interest in Honda for the last few days, it is the Italian publication La Stampa which claims a deal has been done.

"The saviour has arrived," it proclaims, adding: "The news is not official as all the details have yet to be formalised. But two things are certain - the team has been saved and the drivers will be Jenson Button and rookie Bruno Senna in place of Rubens Barrichello."

Honda, which announced its withdrawal from F1 earlier this month, has given a January deadline for the sale.

As Prodrive's David Richards has already pointed out however, it is not merely a question of buying Honda, but coming up with the necessary funding to take the team forward, to make it competitive.

It is widely thought that whoever buys the team, Ferrari will provide the engines, a deal which makes sense when one considers that (team boss) Ross Brawn enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the Italian manufacturer.

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