APRIL 24, 2000
Honda negotiating to buy BAR
Our sources say that the talks have been accelerated as a result of rival car companies Mercedes-Benz and Renault buying into Formula 1 and because Honda wants to get more control of the chassis building side of the team in order to speed up the education of Japanese engineers in the skills of carbon composite engineering.
The deal makes a great deal of sense for BAT as it will enable the tobacco company to recoup a big chunk of the money it has spent in F1 in the last two years, which in effect means that all the publicity generated to date will have been free. BAT would have preferred rather better publicity than has been achieved. It is possible that as part of the deal BAT will remain on the cars for another couple of years as the red Lucky Strike roundel bears a useful resemblance to the Japanese flag, the color scheme in which Honda is expected to race.