Virgin in Honda F1 bid

Virgin Group has made a bid to purchase the Honda Formula One team.

Virgin Group has made a bid to purchase the Honda Formula One team.

Richard Branson’s company is one of several potential buyers the Japanese car maker is negotiating with, according to reports.

Honda F1 is understood to be up for sale for £1 though it costs about £40m million to run a team each season.

Virgin is already involved with F1 with Virgin Atlantic Japan sponsoring driver Takuma Sato.

Honda announced in December that it is to withdraw from F1 unless a buyer can be found. The Japanese carmaker is looking to cut costs and secure its future in light of falling car sales and the economic downturn

The motor sport received a further blow earlier this week when Dutch bank ING announced it is to end its sponsorship of end of this season. The bank, one of the biggest sponsors, says it is also to cut back on F1-related marketing as part €1bn cost-cutting drive after reporting an expected €1bn loss for 2008.

A spokesman for Honda says it is in negotiation with several buyers but would not confirm if one of them was Virgin Group.

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