Peugeot has branded as 'totally false' speculation linking it to a potential buy-out of the assets of Honda's defunct Formula 1 team, insisting that it is suffering just as much as any other car manufacturer in the current economic climate.

It had been reported in Belgian motorsport magazine Autosportnieuws that PSA Peugeot-Citro?n - whose last involvement in the top flight came as an engine-supplier to the ill-fated Prost Grand Prix concern in the late 1990s and into the turn of the Millennium - had added its name to the list of parties interested in the purchase of the Brackley-based outfit [see separate story - click here].

Other names in the frame are David Richards' Arab-backed, independent Prodrive operation - which today sensationally announced that it was withdrawing its Subaru World Rally Team challenge from the World Rally Championship with immediate effect - Carlin Motorsport, Dubai Investment Capital, Ultimate Motorsport and GP2 Series front-runner ART Grand Prix, the latter headed by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt and manager to both Felipe Massa and S?bastien Bourdais.

However, Peugeot Sport spokesman Jean-Claude Lefebvre has insisted that any such rumours are pure fabrication, the Frenchman adding that Peugeot remains fully committed to its Le Mans sportscar project and Citro?n to defending its WRC laurels.

"It's totally false," Lefebvre told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, explaining that Peugeot cannot countenance investing the necessary funding into F1 at the same time as it finds itself forced to close down some of its manufacturing plants as a result of the global credit crunch.

"We are having big problems with sales, just like all the manufacturers. We have other things to think about other than considering going to Formula 1."

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