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Brawn sheds light on Honda buyout

NEW owner Ross Brawn said on Tuesday he had not hesitated in taking over Honda's Formula One team because it would otherwise have been closed down with hundreds of jobs lost.

"If I am frank, there were no choices," the Briton told reporters during the second day of testing Brawn GP's new Mercedes-powered car at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

"If the management group, because it is not just myself, had not taken this task on, there would be no team. Then all of the staff would have been made redundant.

"It wasn't a difficult choice in that respect. Things can go wrong, but we are optimistic and if we can capitalize on the performance of the car, and the car looks good, then I think the team have got a future."

Honda, Japan's second largest carmaker, announced in December that it was pulling out of Formula One due to the credit crunch. It had employed around 700 people at their Brackley factory in central England.

Black days

Brawn said there had been some "very black days in trying to keep the team alive" but a majority of the staff would now be kept on.

"It is fair to say that we will have to look at the size of the team because we have gone from a manufacturer to a privateer," he said.

"It is not going to be an easy process but I think everybody in the team understands the situation and the team survives. And it will give a career to a majority of people."

Brawn said the team had a secure budget for this season but now needed to address the longer term and find sponsors and partners.

"We are completely flexible on what we do in the future, but I hope we will have a proper long-term planning and proper structure for the team going forward," he added.

Brawn's Brazilian Rubens Barrichello did 111 laps and was third fastest on Tuesday, building on teammate Jenson Button's impressive Monday session.

Brawn, the master-strategist who guided now-retired Michael Schumacher to a record seven world championships with Benetton and Ferrari, explained that his team had decided to use Mercedes engines this season simply because they fitted the chassis better than Ferrari ones.


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