A source close to the Brackley based formula one team has confirmed that Virgin Group is the late bidder hoping to buy the beleaguered outfit.

A source close to the Brackley based formula one team has confirmed that Virgin Group is the late bidder hoping to buy the beleaguered outfit.

It has been rumoured that Virgin, headed by the flamboyant British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, was the unnamed third party who stepped in and scuppered the progress of the Nick Fry and Ross Brawn-led management buyout.

"They have made a bid to purchase the team," the source, requesting to remain unidentified, was quoted as telling Reuters.

An official Honda spokeswoman declined to comment, and a spokeswoman for Virgin Group said the company is "constantly named in speculation and rumour".

Virgin has been involved with F1 before; with the Virgin Mobile brand at the Jordan team in 2002, while the Japanese Takuma Sato was driving.

Virgin Atlantic Japan still sponsors Sato, who narrowly missed out on a Toro Rosso seat for 2009.

32-year-old Sato's manager Andrew Gilbert Scott said earlier this month that he is "looking ahead for the next opportunity" for his client to rejoin F1.

Branson is also believed to be friends with Adrian Reynard, a co-founder of Honda's former BAR guise.

The team's Brackley headquarters is even located at Reynard Park, but the Reuters source did not know if the 51-year-old Briton is involved with the Virgin bid.

 

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