OCTOBER 4, 2005
Honda buys out BAT
Japanese car manufacturer Honda has bought out British American Tobacco and will be running a wholly-owned team in F1 next year. The team has yet to be named. The move is not unexpected, although it is rather quicker than had been planned as BAT was keen to get out of F1 after the banning of tobacco advertising in Europe.
"We began negotiations in the summer to increase our share from 45% to full acquisition," said Hiroshi Oshima, the company's chief operating officer. "We want to race as Honda and we want to challenge for the World Championship. We want to take the team in a better direction."
The team has not been successful this year despite the speed of the cars on occasion.
It is not yet clear who will be running the team and there are suggestions from Japan that Takuma Sato will probably be involved, which will create a difficult situation as both Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button have been signed to the team on long-term contracts.
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