Mexican billionaire denies Honda interest

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Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Honda team principal Ross Brawn have denied they are in talks over a potential takeover of the Formula One outfit.

Slim was reportedly one of four interested parties in negotiations to buy the troubled outfit following the withdrawal of the Japanese car giants from the sport earlier this month.

Italian newspaper La Stampa reported Slim, who owns telecommunications company Telmex, had bought Honda and that drivers Jenson Button and Bruno Senna would be confirmed as the 2009 line-up.

However, the Telmex racing team, which Slim also owns, issued a statement on their website quashing suggestions any deal had been done.

"The Telmex Team can confirm that Carlos Slim Helu has not bought the Honda Formula One team nor is holding any negotiations to do so, therefore all information related to this subject has no basis and is completely false," it read.

Slim's son Carlos Slim Domit reinforced his father's stance, telling the Mexican press that "it is a complete lie".

Brawn, meanwhile, told the Daily Telegraph: "We would love it if it were true but it's pure speculation from various members of the media. It's just been one of those rumours which has developed a life of its own."

However, Brawn insisted talks are progressing with other parties and revealed the team could stay in business through to the season opener in Melbourne at the end of March.

"There has been a huge amount of interest," he continued. "It's now got to the stage where we need to filter out the serious from the not so serious.

"We're all hopeful that something will happen and we're anxious to turn up the wick again in the new year.

"We haven't really lost anything yet as it has still only been a few weeks. Everything is in place although we have had to turn down various programmes.

"We have enough funding to get us through to Melbourne and we still have a competitive package," he added.