Fernando Alonso spent an entire day at Honda’s Brackley factory this week and even had a seat fitting, reports from Germany on Thursday said. Sport Bild claims that the double world champion, who is still yet to commit to a team for 2008 after splitting with McLaren, is ‘nearing an agreement’ with the Japanese outfit that recently tabbed Ross Brawn as its new team boss.

It is reported that the first approach to Alonso about possibly joining Honda was made by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, after the previously Nick Fry-led team embarrassingly netted a mere six points with its RA107 ‘earth car’ this year.

Sport Bild said Alonso would take the place of Rubens Barrichello; the Brazilian veteran who would move to Honda’s satellite team Super Aguri in 2008 as Takuma Sato’s new teammate. Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia Abad on Thursday was not contactable. The source observed: “With Brawn and Alonso, the fate of the Honda team would be secured”. (GMM)