F1 »

Fry denies conflict of interest in Honda F1 bid.

Nick Fry has responded to accusations that he is presiding over a conflict of interest in having submitted his own bid to take over Honda's defunct Formula 1 outfit – as he suggested that 'attempts are being made by certain parties to frustrate this process'.

There was widespread surprise, and not a little anger, within the grand prix paddock when it was revealed last week that in addition to vetting the general bidding process for the Brackley-based operation – put up for sale by the parent company in Japan back at the beginning of December as a result of falling car sales precipitated by the global economic downturn – Fry was at the same time formulating his own management buy-out package [see separate story – click here].

It has even been claimed that the British Government has been asked to step in over the matter, amidst fears that the Englishman is not acting in the squad's best interests.

Fry, however, who has been a key figure at Honda F1 since 2002, when he took on the role of managing director at what was then BAR-Honda, insists that the procedure is all above-board. He has previously stated that there are as many as twelve interested buyers.

“I would like to make clear that the Honda Motor Company, as the owner of the Honda Racing F1 team, will decide on the future of our team following their decision to withdraw from Formula 1,” he is quoted as having said by international news agency Reuters.

“At all times during the process of securing the future of the team, senior managers from the Honda Motor Co. have been present at our headquarters in Brackley to assist in making decisions, and we have taken legal advice at all times to ensure no conflict of interest.

“It is evident that attempts are being made by certain parties to frustrate this process, [but] we will not be deterred from our focus of securing a positive future for the team and our 700 employees and achieving our target of lining up on the grid in Melbourne for the start of the 2009 season.”

In order to do that, whoever does end up purchasing the team will also need to secure an engine-supplier, after Ferrari announced last week that it would not be willing to oblige, having previously hinted that a collaboration was possible. A potential saviour has since emerged, however, in the form of McLaren partner Mercedes-Benz, which towards the end of last year tied up a similar deal to support Silverstone minnows Force India.

“They approached (McLaren CEO) Martin [Whitmarsh] quite a while ago,” the Stuttgart manufacturer's Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug confessed. “The timing is anything other than fantastic obviously, but we still could do it. There is not a deadline like tomorrow or next week, but of course time is running out.

“I am not informed currently of how the situation at Honda is developing. I think the people there did a good job and we have a good relationship with (team principal) Ross [Brawn]. We have known him for a long time.

“It would be great if that team could be on the grid in Melbourne and if we could contribute with engines. This is not a sponsorship deal; it is a financial deal and we need to get the finances right and then we can help.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nick Fry - BAR Honda
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Williams, FW40, teaser shot [Credit: Williams Martini Racing]
Michael Schumacher and the 1996 Ferrari F310
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Antonio Giovinazzi - Ferrari SF15-T
Chase Carey, Ross Brawn & Sean Bratches
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
2017 Race of Champions line-up in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Calvin _

January 20, 2009 10:06 AM

Yeah, right. I believe you, NOT. How can there be no conflict of interest when on one hand you are vetting the process and on the other hand, you are formulating your own rescue package. As soon as he decided to put in his own package, he should have recused himself from the process.

rich ard

January 20, 2009 2:03 PM

calvin. agree wholeheartedly. but there may not be 12 other people making an offer. this is probably all hype. the most likely interested parties have all said NO. and how come that fry is able to get backing to buy out the team, when he couldnt (as team manager) get any interest of support prior to this? with merc saying they MIGHT supply engines, now saying that time is running out, there is very little chance of the cars being on the grid in melbourne, unless honda let them use last years engines.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.