Phoenix shot down in flames

IT was clear in Melbourne that whoever was behind the Phoenix Finance Ltd. Formula 1 team did not have a very clear understanding of the way in which the sport operates - or was taking a chance that the F1 authorities could be convinced it was a good idea to break the existing regulations.

That was a forlorn hope.

On Tuesday in London Bernie Ecclestone gave his thoughts on the subject to The Times newspaper, saying that the purchaser (whoever it might have been) had "bought nothing in Formula 1. All he has bought is some show cars. He can forget it. He is wasting his time thinking about racing in Malaysia."

The newspaper also contacted FIA president Max Mosley who said that the federation had no communication from Phoenix but that the group "do appear to have major difficulties if they want to join the grid."

Tom Walkinshaw and his pal Charles Nickerson, who were both named as "representatives" of Phoenix Finance Ltd. On February 16 this group made its first offer of around $2m for some of the assets of Prost Grand Prix. This was rejected. On February 28 it was accepted by the liquidator Cosme Rogeau.

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