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A1 GP boss in Talk with Honda about F1 team

A1 Grand Prix boss Tony Teixeira said he had been until recently talking to Honda about acquiring Japanese manufacturer's Formula One team.

A1 Grand Prix boss Tony Teixeira said on Tuesday he had been until recently talking to Honda about acquiring the Japanese manufacturer’s Formula One team.

“I was one of the guys talking to Honda in the last two weeks,” the South African told the Autosport website (www.autosport.com).

Honda announced in December they were pulling out of Formula One due to the global financial crisis,leaving the team still seeking a rescuer with the season due to start in Australia on March 29.

Virgin Group boss Richard Branson has expressed an interest but a management buy-out now looks the most likely route,other than closure,after Honda said on Monday they had received various offers but no serious buyers.

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Teixeira has been interested in Formula One in the past to promote his self-styled “World Cup of Motorsport” that runs mostly during the European winter.

He told Reuters last year he had scrapped plans to buy a team after the sport changed the rules to ban the use of so-called customer cars.

Teixeira said on Tuesday that,with cost-cutting measures likely to make the sport far more affordable to new entrants from 2010,his interest had revived although the credit crunch had scuppered any immediate plans.

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“Today I’m in a completely different situation,” said the A1 chairman,whose series uses single-seater cars designed and powered by Ferrari.

“I’ve built my own cars and designed my own chassis. I have my own factory. So I’m not a customer boss. I can now build my chassis and run with a Ferrari engine. I’m now the same as everyone else.

“The only reason we want an F1 team is for the winners of A1 to go to F1,” added the entrepreneur,who talked to Spyker in 2007 before that team became Force India and also made an approach to Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso last year.

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“But,because of the times,I cannot commit myself to this year’s budget.”

Teixeira said he had bought land near the Algarve circuit in southern Portugal that could be used as a base for his series as well as any future F1 team.

First published on: 25-02-2009 at 11:43:14 am
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