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Last Updated: Friday December 05 2008 14:10 GMT

Honda puts brakes on its F1 team

F1 Honda Racing Team headquarters

There will be no Honda Formula One team racing in the 2009 season, because it's too expensive to keep the team going.

It cost Honda 300m to run the team last season, and company bosses say the worldwide cash problems mean they need to spend that money on other things.

There is still a chance another business could buy Honda's spot on the F1 grid for next season.

But if there is no buyer, around 800 people will lose their jobs, and there will only be 18 F1 teams in 2009.

There are already reports of three approaches to buy what's left of Honda's team from them.

If a buyer can be found, then they would have the chance to use the car design and technology that Honda had planned for 2009.

Honda has only been a team since 2006, but the company has been involved in the sport since the 1980s, making engines for other teams to use.

British Formula One driver Jenson Button
British Formula One driver Jenson Button
No drive for Jenson?

Now they won't even be doing that.

It could also mean British driver Jenson Button won't be able to race in 2009, as most of the other top teams have already picked their drivers for the season.

The 2009 Formula One season begins on 29 March, in Australia.