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Honda acquire BAR team 04 Oct 2005

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR Honda 007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 24 September 2005

Honda have underlined their determination to win the Formula One World Championship by taking over the BAR team.

Less than a year after purchasing a 45 percent share in the team, Honda has agreed to acquire founding owner British American Tobacco's 55 percent majority share. Honda will complete the purchase of the remaining shares by the end of 2005.

The acquisition was announced in a press conference held by Honda in Tokyo on Tuesday, ahead of their home grand prix at Suzuka this weekend. This race will also mark Honda's 100th grand prix with BAR.

"After discussing Honda's future F1 participation, we have decided that Honda should own 100 percent of the team,” Hiroshi Oshima, Operating Officer, Corporate Communications and Motor Sports, Honda Motor Co., Ltd, commented. “We greatly appreciate the partnership of BAT, which has managed the team with us until now, and we wish BAT the best of luck in its future endeavours.

“From next season, we will be even more energetic in our F1 activities, working hard as a team in order to improve our technology, develop our young engineers and achieve our goal of winning the World Championship. We look forward to your continued support."

Jimmi Rembiszewski, British American Tobacco Director, Marketing, added: "It will be sad to end our association but it is immensely satisfying to leave the team in the competent hands of Honda who are proven winners in the sport. We wish Honda every success for the future and look forward to our last year of sponsorship."

Honda returned to Formula One racing in 2000, having entered into a contract with BAR to supply engines and jointly develop chassis technology. In December 2001, a new 3-year contract, effective from 2002, was signed, the provisions of which included the strengthening of the joint chassis development project. In July 2004, an agreement was reached to extend the contract period to the end of the 2007, with the additional aim of further strengthening the partnership's structure for technological development.

The team will continue to conduct operations from their current base in Brackley, Northamptonshire, UK, working together with Honda Racing Development Ltd., located in Berkshire.