As expected, Honda Motor Company chief Takeo Fukui in Tokyo confirmed on Friday afternoon that the Japanese manufacturer is withdrawing from formula one ahead of the 2009 season.

As expected, Honda Motor Company chief Takeo Fukui in Tokyo confirmed on Friday afternoon that the Japanese manufacturer is withdrawing from formula one ahead of the 2009 season.

He said the decision was taken as a result of the prevailing conditions in the automotive sales sector, including a near-unprecedented decline of more than 30 per cent in its biggest market, the United States, last month.

Fukui also revealed that Honda will not even remain involved in F1 as an engine supplier, despite attempts to sell the Brackley based team as a going concern before the 2009 season commences in late March.

Instead, it is understood that Honda team boss and former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn has arranged that a buyer of the Brackley outfit will be powered by 2.4 litre Ferrari V8s.

2008 constructors' world champions Ferrari have the capacity to supply an extra team next year, given the switch of customer partner Force India to Mercedes power.

According to early speculation, one potential buyer of the team could be Dubai International Capital (DIC), which came close to buying Super Aguri when Honda pulled its support for the satellite team earlier this year.

See press release below for Fukui statement.

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Official: Honda CEO Fukui F1 withdrawal statement