Honda pulls out of Formula 1

* Formula One team is up for sale * Deadline of January set to find buyer * Honda sales dropped 42% in November...

Honda  pulls out of Formula 1

Honda is selling its Formula One team, blaming the global economic crisis for its decision to leave the sport.

The exit was confirmed today by the Japanese manufacturer's president and CEO Takeo Fukui. It leaves hundreds of British jobs under threat as a new buyer is sought for the UK-based team.

The decision also leaves a question over the future of Britain's Jenson Button, who could find himself without a drive in the 2009 championship, which starts in March.

A deadline of January has been set for a new owner to be found, although, around 750 workers at the team's headquarters in Brackley, Northamptonshire have been told to expect redundancy letters before Christmas.

Honda says it has made the decision to protect its core business in the face of growing uncertainties in the global car market.

The Formula One team spent more than 200 million a year, but managed only mediocre results and scored just one victory when Jenson Button won the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2006.

Honda has recently cut production of its road vehicles and its new car sales in the UK dropped by over 42% in November.