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Brawn: We can be winners in `09.

Honda Racing F1 team boss Ross Brawn says that anyone interested in purchasing the team ahead of the 2009 Formula One season would be buying an outfit 'ahead of its rivals'.

With the company having been hit by the global economic slowdown, which has seen sales of new cars plummet, Honda bosses in Japan have elected to bring an end to the Formula One programme with a deadline having been set to sell the team off. Should no buyer be found, the closure would follow with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

However, Brawn said that he felt the team would be an attractive option for potential investors looking for a way into Formula One, not least because of the facilities already in place at the team's Brackley base.

"The economic situation has forced this on Honda," he told the BBC. "No-one predicted this downturn, especially in the car market, and Honda are experiencing reductions in sales of 40 per cent in some markets.

"Honda has decided to sell the team and we are looking for a buyer or investor. If we can find that investor, then they are going to be buying a great team with some of the best facilities in Formula One. I also think we have a race winning car for next year so there is a good opportunity for someone."

He added that the fact that development of the 2009 car has been ongoing for some time would give the team an edge over its rivals heading towards the new season after two difficult years that yielded just 20 points.

"We had a three-year plan when I joined the team and it was accepted that we would compromise in 2008 to plan for 2009 when new rules are brought into place," he said. "We started to work on the new car at the end of 2007 so we have had a lead on other teams who had to manage their existing programme and plan for the future.

"We said, 'lets leave things as they are for 2008 and focus on next year', and my understanding is that we have a car which is probably ahead of the competitors for next year."

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Mark _

December 06, 2008 11:57 PM

No doubt that many people would like to see Honda/BAR do well or even survive for that matter, but ever since the Lucky Strike days it has always been about next year. Villenuve wasted his best years there and Button appears to have done the same. They are such a disappointment on so many levels.

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