The Formula One community is bracing itself for a shock announcement from Honda in the next few hours confirming that that the Japanese manufacturer will withdraw from the sport and put its racing team up for sale.
Honda has been hit hard by the global economic downturn – as have several leading car manufacturers – and the future of its racing arm, Honda Racing, is under serious doubt as a result.
According to autosport.com, the team’s senior staff were called for a meeting at Honda Racing’s Brackley factory on Thursday afternoon and told that Honda in Japan were no longer willing to fund the outfit.
The team is expected to be put up for sale leaving its immediate racing future dependent on a buyer being found by March.
“They have a month to find a buyer, otherwise they are closing the team,” a team insider is quoted as saying by Reuters.
Honda are expected to issue a press release on Friday morning confirming their plans.