November 19, 2004 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that it will become an equity partner in the B.A.R Formula One team for the first time, as it aims to win the Formula One World Championship, the pinnacle of automobile motor sports.
Honda will own 45 per cent and British American Tobacco 55 per cent of the team, which will continue to conduct operations from its base in Brackley, Northamptonshire, U.K., working together with Honda Racing Development Ltd., located in Berkshire.
In 2000, Honda returned to the F1 World Championship, having entered into a contract with B.A.R to supply engines and jointly develop chassis technology. In December 2001, a new 3-year contract, effective from 2002, was signed, the provisions of which included the strengthening of the joint chassis development project. In July of this year, an agreement was reached to extend the contract period to the end of the 2007, with the additional aim of further strengthening the partnership's structure for technological development.
This past season marked the 40th anniversary of Honda's inaugural F1 campaign and saw Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda achieve second place in the Constructors' World Championship, a huge leap forward from its 5th place finish the previous season.
The creation of the new company will enable Honda to fully devote the engineering personnel, hardware and financial resources which it alone can uniquely provide, to a deeper integration with the team's operations. From next season onwards, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda will strive to make another leap forward in its challenge to win the F1 world championship.
Takanobu Ito, Managing Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. commented:
"This is a natural extension of our relationship with B.A.R and is an important step for both partners. The new commitment will further strengthen the structure for cooperation with B.A.R as we push forward with our Formula One challenge."
Antonio Monteiro de Castro, Chief Operating Officer of British American Tobacco commented:
"We're delighted Honda wants to build on its involvement in a team that has gone from strength to strength this season."