Honda is expected to announce before the week is out its highly anticipated return to formula one.
Citing Honda sources, major Japanese newspapers including the Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun, and the Kyodo news agency, are reporting that a formal announcement of the 2015 comeback is now imminent.
The announcement will almost certainly be of a works engine collaboration with the great British team McLaren starting in 2015, and potential customer engine deals for the radical new turbo V6 regulations.
A Honda spokesperson would not comment.
Interestingly, however, Tokyo-born former Honda driver Takuma Sato has ruled out a return to formula one in the near future, insisting he is committed to Indycar.
"Formula one isn't the only racing," the 36-year-old told NBC. "My first focus is to win races here, win the (Indy) 500 and win the championship."
German-language Speed Week, however, said it could be a totally different story for the newly-departed and formerly Toyota-backed Japanese Kamui Kobayashi.
Tyre change 'like widening football goals' - Boullier
Eric Boullier has revealed Lotus is "a little disappointed" with Pirelli's decision to change its 2013 tyres mid-season.
Amid the media furore and the complaining of prominent teams like Red Bull and Mercedes, F1's official supplier announced that it will revert to elements of last year's tyre design for the Canadian grand prix next month and beyond.
But Lotus boss Boullier stressed that only "some teams" actually welcome the changes "because it can help their performance".
Indeed, teams including Lotus and Barcelona winner Ferrari were happy with the existing Pirelli tyres.
"Unlike Red Bull," Boullier told France's Canal Plus, "who have a policy of developing the car based solely on aerodynamics, we are among the teams like Ferrari, who took into account the Pirelli factor when designing the car.
"So we're actually a little disappointed by this change," he admitted.
"I don't know a lot of other sports where, let's say in football, they decide to increase the size of the goals in the middle of a season," said Boullier.
Similarly, Pirelli's test driver Jaime Alguersuari argues that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the 2013 tyre, praising drivers like Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who "understand the tyres where others do not".
"I don't see the drama," the Spaniard told the sports daily AS.
"When Vettel was winning in 2011 it was like this, but when things go well, you don't complain.
"What is happening now is that a few understand the tyres while others do not.
"So there is Alonso with Ferrari, and also Raikkonen and Lotus (who understand).
"It happened to me in 2011," former Toro Rosso driver Alguersuari continued. "I had a horrible start to the year, but from mid-season we began to understand the behaviour of the compounds."
Alonso third on 'international' sports earners list
Fernando Alonso is the third-highest 'international' sports earner on earth, according to the influential US magazine Sports Illustrated.
Excluding American athletes, like undefeated boxer Floyd 'Money' Mayweather who has already earned $90 million in 2013, the highest paid sportsman is British footballer David Beckham.
His $48 million is trailed by tennis' Roger Federer (43m), followed by Ferrari's Alonso, whose estimated $42 million in 2013 will include his retainer and endorsements.
Spaniard Alonso reportedly makes more than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (35m) and FC Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, according to the international list.
F1's next representative, coming in at eleventh on the list with almost $24 million, is Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, while the newly-retired Michael Schumacher is still raking in the income, with just under $20m estimated.
Ecclestone not quitting after German bribery charge
Bernie Ecclestone has played down the notion he might quietly retire off the back of his German bribery charges.
Although F1's 82-year-old chief executive and his Munich lawyers insist the official charge sheet has not actually been received, it is now widely accepted that prosecutors will ask the district court to hear charges related to the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption affair.
It will be alleged Ecclestone paid Gribkowsky - who has already been jailed - $44 million amid the sale of the sport's commercial rights to current owners CVC.
"No, that's nonsense," Ecclestone is quoted by German newspaper Bild.
"The money I paid him had nothing to do with the sale of formula one shares."
Asked if he will nonetheless retire as a result of the bribery charges, he insisted: "No. I don't think so.
"The shareholders will have to decide. Forget this story -- when my contract expires, they can replace me with whoever they want."
As for the German charges, Ecclestone said: "All I know is, I am innocent. And in the end the truth will come out."
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