Honda ‘may buy BAR’ – Tanaka

(GMM – Suzuka) Honda may buy F1 team BAR when tobacco advertising is banned after the 2006 season, the Japanese manufacturer's Shoichi Tanaka admitted.

He told an interview that Honda chose to concentrate on 'technological development' when it lurched back into the sport in 2000, rather than related 'business' activities, like team ownership.

But, in a couple more years, BAR-Honda might be the constructors' world champion and Honda may be looking for a new challenge.

''Depending on (owner British American Tobacco's) exit plan,'' Tanaka said, ''anything can happen.''

Tanaka said a 'big effort' has been made by Honda over the past few years to integrate 'completely' with British car constructor BAR.

About 25 Honda engineers work full time at Brackley (UK), in BAR's aerodynamic, structure, mechanical systems, simulation and tire development departments.

''They're right in the groups now,'' confirmed BAR technical director Geoff Willis, ''so (BAR and Honda are) sort of indistinguishable.''

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