Honda F1 team principal Ross Brawn has admitted that he is looking forward to the final Formula One race of the season this weekend in Brazil as the Brackley-based squad seeks to bring a disappointing 2008 campaign to a close.
Barring a remarkable upturn in fortunes at Interlagos, Honda will end the season ninth in the constructors' championship – with only Force India and Super Aguri, the latter having failed to complete the season, behind them in the standings.
Indeed, of the 18 drivers to have scored points this season, Rubens Barrichello lies down in 14th place in the standings while team-mate Jenson Button is 18th and last – picking up just three points in 17 races.
With that in mind, Brawn admitted that the focus of the team had already turned to the 2009 season, when Honda will hope to return to the kind of form that saw Button win in Hungary back in 2006 en-route to sixth in the drivers' standings.
"By any measure 2008 has not been a great season for the Honda Racing F1 Team,” Brawn reflected. “We have been focusing our thoughts and efforts on 2009 for a considerable time and for us, Brazil will be the closing of the book on this year, allowing our full focus to turn to the longer term plans of the team and our return to competitiveness.
“The unique atmosphere of Interlagos and the involvement of a local driver in the championship challenge should ensure a thrilling finale to the 2008 season and a real boost for the sport.
"Brazil is a fitting place to end the season with the Interlagos circuit providing an unusual and exciting challenge for the drivers and engineers. The location of the track in an inner city area and the passionate Brazilian fans ensure an edgy and electric atmosphere around the circuit over the race weekend. The track layout has an almost three-dimensional feel with the changes in elevation and the high-speed left-hand corners provide an extra physical challenge.”