BAR shocked by Button announcement

BAR shocked by Button announcement

The news that broke late last night that Jenson Button has signed for Williams for 2005 has shocked his current team BAR. Button has had relative success this year with BAR and he and team principal David Richards have often spouted their...

The news that broke late last night that Jenson Button has signed for Williams for 2005 has shocked his current team BAR. Button has had relative success this year with BAR and he and team principal David Richards have often spouted their intentions for the championship in years to come.

Jenson Button.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

That has all fallen apart with Williams' press release that Button has signed for the team that he debuted with in 2000. "We are absolutely astounded to hear that Jenson thinks that he is leaving B.A.R for Williams next season," said Richards. "Neither myself, nor any other member of the B.A.R team, has been contacted by Jenson to discuss this matter."

Button is supposedly contracted to BAR through 2005 and Richards is determined to see out the deal in the courts if need be. "It is our intention to enforce our current contractual position with Jenson," he stated.

"My duty is to the 400-strong workforce which has worked tirelessly over the past two seasons to give Jenson the car he has today; and to our partners, whose unfailing support and commitment to the team has contributed to the solid structure we now have in place."

"Unfortunately this is now a matter for the lawyers and I have every confidence that the legal process will confirm that yesterday's announcement has not only been premature but also invalid."

So is Button moving to Williams next year a done deal or not? Williams say yes, BAR say a lot of blustering denials. Whatever the matter, Jenson has seemingly made his intentions clear and BAR fighting him in the courts of law is not going to help its cause.

Williams technical director Sam Michael is adamant that the deal with Button is legal and done. "A number of days ago we were informed by Jenson's legal team that the option was not taken up and he was available," he told the BBC.

"We put in place a contract with Jenson and we wouldn't go down that route without getting our own legal opinion. Our opinion supports Jenson's legal and management team so as far as we are concerned the contract is valid."

Button, convenietly, is 'on holiday'.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , David Richards
Teams Williams