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Nick Fry enters Honda F1 bidding chase.

It has been revealed that at the same time as examining proposals from 'something in the region of a dozen' interested parties, Nick Fry has submitted his own offer to seize control of Honda's beleaguered Formula 1 outfit – to the exasperation of other bidders.

Earlier this week, the team's CEO stated that from more than 30 initial inquiries, he had whittled the list of potential new owners down to around twelve [see separate story – click here] for what he has described as a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity.

Whilst any new owner would need to convince Honda in Japan that it possesses the necessary funding in place to see the Brackley-based concern through the next five years, in return the parent company has promised to take care of the $100m associated debts.

Moreover, whoever does ultimately buy the team will get a paid-for entry into the 2009 F1 World Championship, four years' lease on the Northants factory, a 750-strong workforce and a car that – with development on the unloved RA108 having been abandoned early on to focus all efforts on its successor – should in theory be fairly handy.

After convincing Honda President Takeo Fukui to allow him time to try to find a buyer, Fry was tasked with coming up with a shortlist of possible investors by managing officer Hiroshi Oshima, with the intention that Honda in Japan would then inspect all bids and make a decision.

The Englishman's management buy-out attempt has reportedly caused anger amongst his fellow bidders, however, who are said to have received indifferent responses to what they believed to be well-financed and well-presented offers, according to British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. It is understood that despite having submitted his own bid, the 52-year-old has not been asked to step down from his role in charge of vetting the bidding process, leading to a potential conflict of interest within a company that has always taken great care to be fastidiously ethical and above-board in all of its dealings, and one that is highly sensitive about its public image.

Moreover, amidst the current credit crunch that was the very catalyst for the Tokyo-based car maker's withdrawal in the first place, Fry is likely to find it no easy task to secure sponsors and raise enough revenue to keep Honda F1 in business. A pertinent example of this is his marked failure to procure a title sponsor for the team in 2007 and 2008, leading to the façade of the outwardly ecologically-aware 'Earth Dreams' initiative, largely dismissed within the paddock as merely an effort to conceal the fact that no major backers had been forthcoming.

It is just such a dearth of potential sponsors that has scared Prodrive chairman David Richards off the scent, after the former World Rally Championship-winning co-driver was initially tipped as the most likely buyer. The Welshman – who ran Honda in its previous guise as BAR-Honda from 2002 to 2004, with considerable success – has explained that with the economic climate as it is, an entry into F1 is not a workable proposition.

“All I can say is that I have made it very clear that the only terms [under which] I would ever consider a return or an involvement was if I felt we could be competitive,” the 56-year-old is quoted as having said by Planet F1, “and nobody expects to win in their first year of Formula 1.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nick Fry (GBR) Sporting Director Honda, Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA108, Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, 5-7th, September, 2008
16.04.2017 - Race, David Coulthard (GBR)
16.04.2017 - Race, David Coulthard (GBR) and Mark Webber (AUS)
16.04.2017 - Race, David Coulthard (GBR), Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Mark Webber (AUS)
14.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, David Coulthard (GBR)
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08.04.2017 - Qualifying, Jacques Villeneuve (CAN), Federica Masolin, Sky and Davide Valsecchi (ITA), Sky TV
07.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Davide Valsecchi (ITA), Sky TV and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
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26.03.2017 - Mark Webber (AUS) and David Coulthard (GBR)
25.03.2017 - Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director with Yusuke Hasegawa (JPN) Head of Honda F1 Programme
Nick Chester (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chassis Technical Director.
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team with Nick Chester (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chassis Technical Director.
Nick Chester (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chassis Technical Director.
Nick Chester (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chassis Technical Director nd Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team 
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Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]

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dale - Unregistered

January 12, 2009 3:59 PM

Unbelievable ... here is a guy that was so poor at finding sponsorship for the factory Honda F1 team that he tried to spin the whole world his "Earth Dream" concept to cover it up ... & now he expects people to believe he can find sponsors to fund an independent team that has no engine, no KERS & more overheads than it knows what to do with! Coupled to the accusations of him sabotaging the potential Super Aguri buy-out, one wonders why Honda haven''t given him the boot yet? Im not surprised the other bidders are unimpressed. Maybe without Fry, some sponsorship & less internal politics Honda may never have left ...

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