(GMM) Jenson Button has lauded Honda's appointment of Ross Brawn for 2008, but insists that next year is "too early" to expect race wins.
The British driver, who spoke to the media at London's Wembley Stadium on Monday ahead of the upcoming Race of Champions, will appear for his Japanese team as the final test of 2007 kicks off on Tuesday at Jerez in Spain.
Button, 27, welcomed new team boss Brawn's arrival for 2008 after the team's dismal showing this season.
"We have what we did not have before and that is real technical leadership taking us in the right direction," he said.
"Technically we were very weak.
"We were lacking some quality aerodynamicists but we have them now, and they have come in with some great ideas.
"We could be challenging to win races in 2009, and also challenging for the championship.
"Next year is too early, but we will be looking to make big strides forward and perhaps we could be towards the front end in the second half of the season," Button added.
"But we are not going to be winning races and I don't want people to think that because it is not the case.
"If we have a competitive car by the end of next season, then I will be very happy for 2008," the Englishman said.
He suggests that while the appointment of Ferrari's highly respected former technical director is good news for Honda, Brawn's presence will also increase the pressure on the other elements of the Honda team.
"As Michael Schumacher said about Ross, he is the 'super-brain' of F1 and if he cannot help us win a championship as he has done so often at Benetton and Ferrari then we do not deserve to be here," Button said.
"I think we will make a good step forward in 2008 from last year, although that isn't really that hard," he added.