Button could leave Brawn over pay dispute

Jenson Button is still at stalemate with his boss Ross Brawn, who has hinted the Englishman might have to leave the team as world champion. 29-year-old Button could wrap up the title at Suzuka on Sunday, but is locked in stalling negotiations to...

Jenson Button is still at stalemate with his boss Ross Brawn, who has hinted the Englishman might have to leave the team as world champion.

29-year-old Button could wrap up the title at Suzuka on Sunday, but is locked in stalling negotiations to increase his retainer for 2010 from a cut-price $5m.

He agreed to slash his contracted pay for 2009 in order to aid the management buyout, and has also been paying his own way in terms of hotel and travel expenses.

But Button's manager Richard Goddard told the Daily Star Sunday that he is "shocked" Brawn is refusing to offer anything more than a slight pay rise.

"We aren't being greedy," he said. "When we signed the deal last year, we did so in the knowledge that if all went well for the team, things would also go well for Jenson."

Team owner and boss Brawn hinted that the impasse could lead to Button leaving the team after November's Abu Dhabi GP.

"Those decisions have not yet been made but if we have a world champion who, for whatever reason, leaves the team, that's a shame," said the Briton.

Brawn's reluctance to offer Button much more money could be related to the paddock perception that - according to former racer Martin Brundle - the British driver is now "reversing" his way to the title after a strong start to the season.

Meanwhile, an opinion article in The Times reads: "After his barnstorming start to the season, (Button) decided that winning like a champion is not for him, resolving to win the title by stealth."

And a piece in The Independent said Button "will be a worthy world champion but his feeble showing in the latter part of the season proves he is well short of legendary status".

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Martin Brundle , Ross Brawn , Richard Goddard