Virgin boss Richard Branson has said that Honda should be given some credit for the success of the Brawn GP team during the 2009 F1 season.
Honda elected to pull the plug on its time in F1 at the end of the 2008 campaign, which proved to be nothing short of a disaster for the Japanese manufacturer.
With the world economy taking a dive, Honda quit the sport to secure its long-term future with team boss Ross Brawn emerging as the saviour of the Brackley-based squad.
Despite the late nature of the deal, Brawn went on to secure both the drivers' title with Jenson Button and the constructors' championship and Branson – who inked a sponsorship deal with Brawn on the eve of the season – said Honda should take some credit for the success.
“I think one thing people have overlooked is the fact that Honda wrote out a cheque for £120m so the team didn't go bust,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio Five Live
. “There are many people out there who would have just pulled out and saved that money, and they have got no credit for that.
“If you turn the clock back twelve months, then it was a horror story for the car industry and really good car makes like Honda and they had to make a tough decision.
“But they developled the car and they deserve some credit, but I doubt they'll get a lot despite behaving in a very gentlemanly way.”