Honda target BMW's level in 2009

Honda team principal Ross Brawn says the Japanese squad are aiming to equal the level of competitiveness of BMW Sauber next season

Honda target BMW's level in 2009

The Brackley-based team endured a torrid 2008 as they focused most of their efforts in the 2009 season, where radical regulations are likely to alter the pecking order.

Honda scored 14 points in 2008, finishing in ninth place in the standings.

Brawn admits the team's competitiveness will depend on how their rivals cope with the new regulations, but the Briton says BMW's level will be their target.

The German team finished in third place in this year's championship, scoring one win at the Canadian Grand Prix.

"The potential for a team in our position to move up depends on the job we do and the job everyone else does," said Brawn. "I recall years at Ferrari where we had fairly modest cars but everyone else was doing a terrible job, and I can remember years where we had fantastic cars and so did everyone else so it was a real challenge.

"It is difficult to predict, so with new regulations it is all going to go every which way and then it will start to come back together again. The grid in Q1 was one second from the main group, one second between all the cars, and that is with this engine disparity.

"You can fairly well line up the cars on the grid with the engine performance give or take a bit, so the potential for us in within our means.

"We have the resources we need, we have got lots of clever people so I think it would be overoptimistic to think we can challenge for the championship next year but we have certainly got to be looking a lot, lot better than we are today.

"For me the reference point is BMW and the job they have done, it is pretty impressive. They have still to continue their climb but I think if we as a team achieve the competitiveness BMW manage to we will be quite pleased."

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