The most surprising rumour to be circulating the Monaco paddock last weekend surrounded Bernie Ecclestone's possible involvement in a new F1 team for next season.

Stories doing the rounds at the fourth round of the world championship suggested that the 68-year old F1 boss may again try his hand at team ownership - more than ten years after selling the Brabham team. Ecclestone is supposedly involved with an operation destined to replace Honda as the 12th guaranteed entry on the year 2000 F1 entry list, although its exact make-up is unclear.

Although certain factions believe that the new outfit would use Supertec power - and possibly run under the same brand name - other suggest that Ecclestone could bring the already operative Honda Racing Developments team - set up to run Honda's stillborn works outfit - into the sport.

Ecclestone, however, remained coy about the stories: "It looks as if there will be a 12th team in 2000," he said, "but we've got enough teams wanting to come that we don't need to invent one."



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