Formula One racing is to lose team Honda and possibly its British driver of nine years Jenson Button unless a buyer can be found by the end of the month.
The global financial crisis has been blamed for the decision, which could make staff redundant at the team's headquarters in Northamptonshire.
It is understood that the 600 members of staff at Brackley, near Silverstone, were told that job losses are likely even if a buyer is found.
Honda Motors chief executive Takeo Fukui said: "We have come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season of participation.
"This difficult decision has been made in light of the quickly-deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, brought on by the sub-prime problem in the United States, the deepening credit crisis and the sudden contraction of the world economies.
"Honda must protect its core business activities and secure the long term as widespread uncertainties in the economies around the globe continue to mount. A recovery is expected to take some time."
© Press Association 2008