F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he has 'no doubt' that the Honda Racing F1 Team would have been a top four outfit in the 2009 Formula One season – making them the ideal target for anyone looking to get into the sport.
With the global economic situation affecting car makers, Honda revealed it is to withdraw from F1 with immediate effect with the racing team going up for sale. Should no buyer be found, then it would be closed down and the F1 grid would drop to 18 cars.
Honda team boss Nick Fry has revealed that contact has already been made by a number of serious interested parties and that he is hopeful that a buyer will be found in time to allow the team to line up on the grid for the first Grand Prix of 2009 in Australia.
With all the infrastructure needed to run a successful team already in place and a 2009 car overseen by Ross Brawn, Ecclestone said he felt Honda had the potential to shine next season and was an attractive proposition for anyone looking for a way into Formula One.
"It's a big shame for Honda because I have no doubt that that team would have be running in the top four next year, without any problem," he told the BBC
. "They have been working hard and have spent a lot of money to put themselves in that position. If anyone does want to be in Formula One, this is a team they should certainly look to buy.
"It's a big opportunity the way things are at the moment, for any company that is run efficiently to benefit."
Ecclestone added that, despite the loss of a manufacturer team, Formula One would survive and is only facing the same problems as any other company around the globe.
"I think Formula One is in no bigger crisis than any other company in the world at the moment," he said. "The world is in crisis at the moment but it isn't going to stop; the world won't stop for sure.
"Everyone has been working like crazy to reduce the necessity to spend to be competitive. Even yesterday there was a meeting of the technical people to change the regulations in order for this to take place, and I have no doubt that there would have been a drastic reduction in the cost and the necessity to spend to be competitive - which is what we've been trying to do."