Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he wishes that the Honda name had remained in Formula One, even though the Japanese giant pulled the plug on its involvement in December 2008.
Speaking amid the growing row over the distribution of money within the sport he so tightly controls, Ecclestone admitted that he had been opposed to a name change at the Brackley-based team, and particularly to that eventually chosen by the outfit that emerged from the ashes of Honda's expensive F1 assault.
"I opposed the name Brawn," he told Britain's Independent
newspaper, "It is not a good name, doesn't mean anything to the public, [and would have been] better being Honda than Brawn."
The prize money earned by Honda's woeful final season in the top flight is at the heart of the latest disagreement over the distribution of income, with Renault's Flavio Briatore leading calls for the rumoured £20m to be withheld from Ross Brawn's eponymous operation because it has been classified as a 'new' team by the sport's governing body, the FIA.
The Concorde Agreement, the contract that formally bound the compting teams to F1 and determined exactly how prize money would be distributed, included a clause that would have seen amounts earned by teams having left the sport being split between the remainder, but is no longer operative as the teams delayed signing an extension in their battle with Ecclestone.
The sport's commericial guru has now hinted that the 'Honda money' will not
be handed to Brawn - which currently heads both world championship tables after a remarkable start to the season - but may also not be redivided between the other nine teams unless they commit to the reworked Concorde Agreement.