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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Honda weigh up 'a dozen offers'

Honda Racing
Honda quit Formula One last month

Honda Racing boss Nick Fry has said the Japanese company is considering around 12 offers for its Formula One team.

Fry said the chances of a sale were "very positive", boosting the racing team's prospects of making the grid for the new season.

"We had, as you might expect, a huge amount of interest at the start - probably well in excess of 30 groups came to us," said Fry.

"We have narrowed that down to something in the region of a dozen."

He told autosport.com: "We are currently talking to Honda about what is the best bet for the future."

The Japanese manufacturer pulled out of Formula One last month, blaming the global financial crisis for their decision.

We are really looking towards a two, three, five year plan for the team

Honda Racing boss Nick Fry
But Fry said the interest in buying the team had made him increasingly confident they would be able to race in the 2009 season.

"Right at the start of this process (Formula One boss) Bernie Ecclestone said that he was 100% confident that we'd be on the grid in Melbourne, and I have to say that I wasn't quite so sure where his confidence came from," said Fry.

"But as we've gone through this process, my confidence based on what we've seen has increased - maybe not to 100% but it's pretty close."

Fry said Honda were a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for potential buyers thanks to the investment in staff and cars the team had made.

"We've got a team that has benefited from 75m worth of capital investment in the last three years," he added.

606: DEBATE
"They have probably got some of the best automotive and other technology in the country, if not the world, and it has got an immensely highly-skilled technical staff led by (team boss) Ross (Brawn). So there's a huge amount going for it."

Fry said a consideration in any sale would be to ensure a long-term future for the staff at the Brackley-based racing team.

"Neither Ross nor I want to stand there again and say that everything is fine if in one or two years' time we fall flat on our face again," he added.

"So we are really looking towards a two, three, five year plan for the team."

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see also
Mosley urges further cost-cutting
08 Jan 09 |  Formula One
Billionaire Slim denies Honda bid
29 Dec 08 |  Formula One
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
05 Dec 08 |  Formula One
Button hopeful over Honda future
08 Dec 08 |  Formula One


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