5 Dec 2008

Honda F1 set to sell up

1:31 pm on 5 December 2008

Honda are pulling out of Formula One and will close their team down if no buyer is found by the end of the year.

A source quoted the Honda bosses as telling the team that the decision is no real suprise as the costs they are running up are at a level that that are unsustainable.

Another source said the staff were told they would be on three months' notice from January if no buyer was found.

The season starts in Australia on the 29th of March.

There was no official confirmation from the British-based team.

The departure of Japan's number two carmaker, with their sales and profits battered by the global financial crisis, has huge implications for the sport.

Honda's exit will leave the $1 billion sport, dominated by carmakers, facing a depleted grid of just 18 cars if no buyer with deep pockets can be found in the extremely tight time frame available.