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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 05:07 GMT 06:07 UK
Honda takes full control of BAR
Honda will decide on a team name for 2006 in due course
Japanese car manufacturer Honda plans to go it alone in Formula One from next year after acquiring a 100% stake in the BAR Honda team on Tuesday.

Honda announced its buyout of founding owner British American Tobacco's 55% share ahead of this weekend's home Grand Prix in Suzuka.

Honda will name their new team for 2006 in agreement with future sponsors.

"We want to challenge for the championship," said Honda's operating officer Hiroshi Oshima.

"We want to race as Honda and we want to take the team in a better direction."

Oshima explained that the Japanese giant had begun negotiations in the summer to increase its share from 45% to full acquisition.

BAR were runners-up to Ferrari in the constructors' title last season with drivers Jenson Button of Britain and Japan's Takuma Sato.

Meanwhile, Sato, who has lost his BAR seat for next season, said he had been offered a drive by an as-yet unnamed group hoping to establish F1's 11th team next year.

"It's not confirmed that this new team will race but I have received an offer," said the 28-year-old.

"I'm not planning to quit Formula One. I have to keep going and look for a solution."

Honda also said they were considering supplying engines to the new team.

Honda's operating officer Hiroshi Oshima said: "(Formula One supremo) Bernie Ecclestone has given the team his blessing and we are looking into the possibility of supplying their engines."


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