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Brawn to steer Honda forward

india Updated: Nov 12, 2007 18:18 IST
AFP
Ferrari

Struggling Formula One outfit Honda on Monday confirmed the appointment of former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn as their new team principal.

The 52-year-old Englishman will work alongside Nick Fry who will continue on as chief executive of the Japanese team.

Brawn, who spent 10 years at Ferrari, will be charged with full responsibility for designing, manufacturing and engineering the team's Formula One operation from next season.

He joins a team still reeling from a nightmare season, with Jenson Button managing just six points and former Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello failing to score any.

Button, who won in Hungary last year, has threatened to leave the team unless there are substantial improvements to the car design.

"I am very excited to be joining the Honda Racing F1 Team," said Brawn, who was linked with a number of teams after taking a sabbatical from the sport.

"Honda has a proud heritage in Formula One and the opportunity to help the team to realise its potential represents a fantastic new challenge for me in the sport.

"The team has already done a great job of giving due consideration to its future and has spent a good deal of time putting in place both people and first-class engineering resources to achieve its ambitions."

The Briton has often been considered as the driving force behind Michael Schumacher's success. The two were together at Benetton in the early 1990s, winning back-to-back world titles in 1994 and 1995, before both moved to Ferrari in 1996.

Schumacher finally ended Ferrari's 21-year run without a drivers' title in 2000, the first of five championships in a row. The Ferrari team won six successive constructors' titles from 1999.

Hiroshi Oshima, Honda's operating officer, said the appointment was made with an eye to improving on the team's disappointing showing last season.

He said: "The appointment of Ross Brawn will bring world championship winning experience and technical vision to our team."