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Brawn buys Honda team for symbolic pound

Honda's troubled Formula One team was sold to former team principal Ross Brawn in March for one symbolic pound sterling, according to a Japanese newspaper. British Brawn GP won the two Grand Prix first seasons.

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AFP - Honda Motor sold its Formula One team for just one pound (1.46 dollars) to former team principal Ross Brawn to keep it in the sport, a Japanese newspaper reported Friday.

"Since our withdrawal (in December), it was our top priority to sell the team on condition it continues its F1 activities," an unnamed Honda official was quoted as saying by the Yomiuri Shimbun. "The price was not a problem."

"We could not sell the team to partners who had sought to disband it and sell its assets on a piecemeal basis," he said. "We also needed to protect the jobs of hundreds of people and we think it was a good conclusion."

A Honda spokesman declined to reveal financial details of the deal.

Honda is reported to have spent 20 billion yen (200 million dollars) in running the F1 team.

Honda's profit was estimated at 80 billion yen for the business year to March 31, down 87 percent from the preceding year.

Brawn's Mercedes-powered team has won the first two Grand Prix this season through driver Jenson Button, in the Australian round and Sunday's rain-shortened race in Malaysia.

Button's fellow driver Rubens Barrichello finished second in Melbourne.

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