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Honda preparing BAR buyout?

MANAGING DIRECTOR Takefumi Hosaka has revealed that he wants to see a Honda Formula One team on the grid, heightening speculation of a buyout of the British American Racing team.

Honda currently supply Brackley-based BAR with power units and owners British American Tobacco's stake in the team has come under scrutiny after the FIA introduced a ban on cigarette advertising from 2006.

Hosaka has said that Honda plan to have a team in Formula One in 2002 - when fellow Japanese manufacturers Toyota enter the sport - and despite work on their own chassis he has revealed that a buyout of a current team is a possibility.

"We have to think about what we need for the next race and for next year," Hosaka said. "But beyond that we will not think until the end of next season. It depends on the level of our chassis technology.

"Commercially and with marketing, we want a Honda team, but technology-wise it depends on whether we can achieve our target or not.

"If not, then we will have to change the organization, because step-by-step we are going to achieve our target."

Hosaka has revealed that Honda's work on their own chassis will be stepped up next year as their F1 dream becomes a high priority. The Japanese company will, meanwhile, supply Jordan with engines in 2001 as well as BAR.

"This year we mainly introduced aerodynamic technology, but from next year we will extend our technology with chassis, geometry and materials," he added.

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