F1 engine supplier Honda may become the outright owner of the British American Tobacco-backed BAR team or buy a large stake in the Brackley-based squad.

F1 engine supplier Honda may become the outright owner of the British American Tobacco-backed BAR team or buy a large stake in the Brackley-based squad.


Earlier this year, Honda agreed to supply engines to BAR for four years. But the BBC reports that a buy-in deal between the Japanese manufacturer and the team is said to have been agreed, although sources differ on whether Honda will buy BAR outright or become a part owner with a 40 per cent shareholding.


BAR principal David Richards - who guided the team to second spot in the 2004 constructors' championship - is expected to leave and be succeeded by the team’s managing director, Nick Fry.


Honda, which dominated F1 in the late '80s and early '90s, would not comment on the report. However, it was known that Richards told fellow team principals last week he was “unable to agree to any proposals for rule changes because the team was being sold and he had to report back to Honda”, the report said.


A source close to the England-based team believed Honda would not acquire an outright controlling interest, and said "my understanding is that Honda is going to buy a percentage of BAR, but not a controlling interest."


Meanwhile, the team's co-founder, Adrian Reynard, who retains a minority shareholding, said that he and the rest of the board had not been informed of such a move.


"It wasn't even discussed at the last board meeting and I don't know if it's going to be discussed at the next one," he said, adding "I can tell you it has always been my dream that Honda acquires either part or all of BAR, because I knew (owner and tobacco giant) BAT's tenure was always going to be limited".