With little over six weeks to go now before the 2009 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, rumours are finally circulating that Honda F1 has been saved – and will be on the starting grid Down Under at the end of March.Crash.net
understands that Ross Brawn – team principal of the beleaguered Brackley-based outfit, put up for sale by the parent company in Japan back at the beginning of December – has circulated an e-mail to staff to the effect that a deal has been done to secure the squad's future, and that everybody should begin preparing for Melbourne.
It is also claimed that five sponsors have been found to adorn the side of the car, and though the identity of the engine-supplier is unknown, McLaren partner Mercedes-Benz is strongly believed to be the most likely candidate.
On the driving front, finally, it is understood that Jenson Button will remain, with the British ace expected to be joined by reigning GP2 Series runner-up Bruno Senna – who impressed when he tested for the team at Barcelona in Spain late last year – with backing from a portfolio of Brazilian sponsors.
What truth there is to the latest speculation is unclear, but with time fast advancing an announcement is expected to be imminent.
Honda staff were remaining tight-lipped when Crash.net
contacted the team for a comment on Thursday.