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Tavo Hellmund wanted partnership with Honda or Mercedes for Manor F1

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American-Mexican businessman Tavo Hellmund says that held talks with both Honda and Mercedes regarding a partnership with Manor Racing before his bid to buy the Formula 1 team collapsed, resulting in its closure.

Manor entered administration last month amid ongoing financial difficulties, with team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick unable to secure enough backing to keep the operation going through 2017.

Fitzpatrick said in November that terms had been agreed with an investor – Hellmund – only for the deal to collapse following its demotion to last place in the constructors’ championship.

Hellmund played an instrumental role in getting both the United States Grand Prix and Mexican Grand Prix on the F1 calendar in recent years, the latter being one of the sport’s best-attended events in 2015 and 2016, but was looking to turn his hand to team ownership.

Speaking to the Austin-American Statesman, Hellmund revealed that he had held talks with both Honda and Mercedes that would have seen Manor link up in a similar way Haas has done with Ferrari.

“We were looking to form a partnership with one of the big manufacturers, Mercedes or Honda,” Hellmund said.

“We had conversations with both. That way you can get motors — discounted motors — and get a driver. It’s almost like being a Triple-A [baseball] team.”

Hellmund also revealed that it was his investment group’s second attempt to buy the team, having previously made an offer back in 2015.

“The first go-round, we were even going to involve Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’ dad,” he said.

“We made two stabs at it. We offered £22 million a year and a half ago.”

Following Manor’s closure, the F1 grid for 2017 is down to just 10 teams, but perhaps more pressingly over 200 people were left without a job.

“It’s a shame those people are now out of work,” Hellmund said.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).