New Honda boss Ross Brawn turned down a return to Formula One champions Ferrari because he did not feel the challenge was big enough.
Brawn has worked with Honda driver Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari
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."