Button: Honda Buyout can Help Win Title

Jenson Button said on Friday that Honda's takeover of the BAR Formula One team will boost his chances of challenging for the world title in 2006

Button: Honda Buyout can Help Win Title

"It's going to give everyone in the team a boost," said the Briton before this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. "The goal for next year is to win a World Championship. Simple as that. That's always the aim."

Button has endured a difficult season after losing a podium finish and two races to BAR's disqualification and subsequent ban for a breach of the technical regulations in San Marino.

BAR finished runners-up to Ferrari in last year's constructors' standings but are a distant sixth this season with the Japan and China races to go.

The 25-year-old said however that Honda's decision to go it alone in 2006 after buying a 100 percent stake in the BAR team was a major positive factor.

"I'm ecstatic," said Button, who is languishing in ninth place in the drivers' standings, 85 points behind newly-crowned champion Fernando Alonso's current total.

"I think it was inevitable really. Obviously I knew a few weeks back but I think it's a step in the right direction."

Honda announced this week they had acquired the 55 percent holding of British American Tobacco (BAT).

Tobacco Legislation

BAT planned to exit the sport after legislation against tobacco advertising came into force earlier this year.

Honda Racing's president Yasuhiro Wada said the buyout would bring more stability to the team.

"We already had a 45 percent holding and BAT had to leave sooner or later because of the tobacco situation," he said. "We thought the team's stability was the most important thing."

Wada denied, however, that Honda's outlay would herald the start of a spending war with Japanese rivals Toyota, whose yearly budget is estimated to be around $400 million.

"We are not expecting to spend that much," said Wada with a smile. "I think we will spend a reasonable amount of money to make the team stronger, but nothing more than that."

Toyota team principal Tsutomu Tomita agreed and said last month's announcement that they would build a second wind tunnel at their Cologne factory was perfectly normal.

"It is not so expensive," he said. "Two wind tunnels in top-level teams, I find that quite reasonable."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team
Author Alaistar Himmer
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