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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 20:39 GMT
Brawn tempted by Honda challenge
Ross Brawn during his spell at Ferrari
Brawn has worked with Honda driver Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari
New Honda boss Ross Brawn turned down a return to Formula One champions Ferrari because he did not feel the challenge was big enough.

The 52-year-old has been charged with turning the struggling Honda F1 team into world title contenders.

"The fact Ferrari wasn't in crisis made it less attractive to me," he said. "I had 10 fantastic years there but you have to be careful going back.

"Honda are a UK-based team with a fantastic racing heritage."

Brawn served as Ferrari's technical director for 10 years, providing the tactical acumen to guide the Italian giants to six consecutive constructors' championships between 1999 and 2004.

But he quit his position at the end of the 2006 season to take a 12-month sabbatical after seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher announced his retirement from Formula One.


Although Brawn had hinted at a potential return to Maranello, he said neither party could reach an amicable agreement.

And he admitted the prospect of returning with a UK-based team was an important factor after spending his time away from the track with his family in England.

"It looked like it would be difficult to find a solution that suited my ambitions and Ferrari's needs," he told BBC Sport.

"I was getting stronger ties with the UK. I love Italy but it would have been a wrench to go back.

"My mind moved into looking at other options and alternatives and Honda was the first-choice team for me.

"I could see from the outside that they looked like a team with a high level of commitment and a team where I hope I can have an influence.

"Going to Japan and meeting the Honda executives just convinced me it was an exciting choice."

Progress next year means getting back to where we were at the end of 2006

Honda chief executive Nick Fry

Although Honda endured their worst season in modern history in 2007, Brawn is confident the team has the potential to challenge for honours, especially with drivers Jenson Button and former Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello at the helm.

"I've got a lot of experience with Rubens, he's a great driver," said Brawn. "Given the car, given the support and given the circumstances, he can win races.

"There were several championships which Rubens would have won had Michael not been there.

"I have never worked with Jenson, [but have] always admired him from a distance. He's always looked very good to me."

Honda chief executive Nick Fry said Brawn's appointment is the first step to re-establishing the team's form of 2006, where Button led the team's to its first modern era victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"Progress next year means getting back to where we were at the end of 2006," he said.

"We could go to every race confident that we had a chance of getting in the top three. I don't see any reason why we can't get to where we were."

Brawn charged with reviving Honda
12 Nov 07 |  Formula One
Todt replaced as Ferrari F1 boss
12 Nov 07 |  Formula One
Button issues ultimatum to Honda
11 Nov 07 |  Formula One
Brawn talking over Ferrari return
01 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Honda boss rejects Brawn rumours
14 Apr 07 |  Formula One
New designer for struggling Honda
10 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Brawn mulls new role at Ferrari
19 Feb 07 |  Formula One
Schumacher 'made Ferrari great'
18 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Brawn quits in Ferrari reshuffle
26 Oct 06 |  Formula One


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