Mumbai, Dec 29: Media reports suggest that Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya was was pipped out to the post by Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican billionaire in the race for acquiring the Honda Formula One team.
La Stampa, an Italian newspaper said Slim, who is according to Forbes magazine world's second richest man, would plough his cash into the ailing sport which would be back on the grid in 2009.
The newspaper said, " the saviour has arrived. Carlos Slim, 67 years old, the second richest man in the world." It added that the news is not yet official as all the details are still to be formalised. As per the report the team have been saved and the drivers would be Jenson Button and Rookie Bruno Senna in place of Rubens Barrichello.
The owner of Force India formula one team, Vijay Mallya was interested in acquring Honda team. But his move was viewed with suspicious eye as an effort to access Honda's technical know-how.
Earlier Prodrive's David Richards also tried to save Honda team, but moved out due to global economic crisis. Slim, a Mexican billionaire, focuses largely on telecom industry. His empire has a net worth of $60 billion.
Global recession has in general hit the motorsport badly in Japan with Subaru and Suzuki withdrawing from the world rally championship.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)