Contrary to reports over the weekend, Bruno Senna has not yet been signed by the erstwhile Honda F1 team. Some quarters of the press had reported that Brazilian petroleum company Petrobras had offered title sponsorship money to the Brackley-based team for the 2009 season on the condition that they run Senna as one of their drivers, but today’s Daily Telegraph reveals that this is not the case.
Senna, nephew of the late three-time world champion Ayrton, was thought to be a likely candidate to replace Rubens Barrichello at the team if a buyer were to be found. In the last week speculation about the team’s future has reached epic proportions, with rumours circulating that team principal Ross Brawn had sent an email to all team members to the effect that the team’s future was safe and that everybody should begin preparing for the season ahead.
The most likely scenario was reported to be the offer of engines from Mercedes-Benz on a customer basis, and private investment for the remainder of the team’s expenses. The Telegraph reports that an ”unnamed third party, with a brand image known in the world” was also offering to help the team. In addition, a buy-out bid had supposedly emerged from the current management set-up, with Brawn and Nick Fry presumably involved.
Honda Motor Company are said to be unwilling to close the team completely, as this would cost the company in the region of £100 million, mostly in redundancy payments, the Telegraph reports.