Honda commercial director David Butler has denied the manufacturer's decision to pull out of formula one represents a failure of the unique 'Earth Dreams' sponsorship concept.

Ahead of the 2007 season, the Japanese marque dispensed with four decades of the customary 'money for logos' model and instead painted only a satellite image of the world on its single seaters to promote an environmental message.

With very little visible sponsorship, Honda was essentially left to carry the entire burden of financing the F1 team, which will now close its doors before the 2009 season if a buyer is not urgently found.

But Butler told The Guardian: "Honda is not withdrawing because of a failure to sell commercial partnerships."

He explained that a "multi million dollar" partnership would have been announced in January, and said talks with two potential title sponsors have also taken place.