While he believes a deal might yet be done which will see Honda, albeit with a new name, line up on the grid in Melbourne, Max Mosley is confident that if the team does fail to find a buyer it will not damage the sport but instead demonstrate that F1 is facing a major problem unless costs are drastically cut.
"It wouldn't actually be damaging, I think it would make everyone realise finally that there really is a problem," he told reporters earlier today in London. "There are one or two people who still don't understand.
"I don't think it would matter provided we can lay out a plan for 2010 that makes it possible for a small team to run competitively and do so without losing money.
"I think the days of the billionaires who piss money away are gone," he added.
Asked if he still feels a deal might be done which would save the Brackley outfit, Mosley remains optimistic. "I have no inside knowledge," he said, "but my feeling from all the circumstances is that it is more likely than not Talking to the people around the team, they seem optimistic. But they always are until the moment comes."