Petrobras, the former Williams sponsor that was set to switch to Honda in 2009, has ruled out becoming involved with the Brackley based team's new guise.

Petrobras, the former Williams sponsor that was set to switch to Honda in 2009, has ruled out becoming involved with the Brackley based team's new guise.

It has been reported that, with Brazilian rookie Bruno Senna at the wheel, the Rio-based energy company as well as Embratel might support the Nick Fry and Ross Brawn-led attempted management buyout.

But even though a deal was believed to have been in place for Petrobras to sponsor Honda this year, the Japanese manufacturer's shock withdrawal from the sport voided the contract.

Petrobras' head of sponsorship Claudio Thompson is quoted by Brazil's TV Jornal as saying he has "no idea" where the most recent speculation came from.

Senna, meanwhile, confirmed that he has "good chances" to race with the Brackley team in 2009 if it survives, but insisted that "no contracts have been signed with anyone".

The Brazilian newspaper O Globo, meanwhile, carried an official statement from Petrobras, with Thompson insisting the company is not interested in a solely commercially-based relationship with a team.

"When Honda announced it was leaving formula one, we also decided to stop because all the teams funded by automakers already have fuel suppliers for 2009," the statement read.

Petrobras also said it is not interested in sponsoring individual drivers.

Meanwhile, Honda team principal Ross Brawn told the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport: "The less that is spoken, the greater the chance that we can save the (Honda team) project."

 

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