Jenson Button may have made it clear that he intends to return to Williams next year but BAR team principal David Richards is not going to let his star driver go without a fight. Button and Richards met yesterday and the BAR boss is adamant that...
Jenson Button may have made it clear that he intends to return to Williams next year but BAR team principal David Richards is not going to let his star driver go without a fight. Button and Richards met yesterday and the BAR boss is adamant that Button is contracted to his team for 2005.
"There is absolutely no way I am going to back down on this matter," Richards told The Guardian. "No way. The guy has a contract with our team. We are talking here about a point of integrity. You can't just welch out of your commitments."
"I've also had letters of support from several other team principals saying they support my position and said that this sort of behaviour just has to be stopped."
"(Sunday) was an opportunity to have a sensible dialogue with Jenson. I wanted to point out that it was beholden on him to come and explain himself before (he signed for Williams), not after."
BAR was shocked and angered by Button's announcement last week and some speculated the team might have moved to replace Jenson for the rest of this season. However, Richards said that would not be the case.
"We're not descending to this type of behaviour," he said. "Jenson has a contract with us to the end of the year. The point of difference between us is whether or not he is committed for next year as well."
The lastest unconfirmed reports suggest that Button and BAR fell out about points related bonuses not paid to Englishman. With 61 points to his credit, that could mount up to quite a tidy sum for Button. Or at least it would if he'd received it, which supposedly he hasn't.
Whatever comes next, there's sure to be a rather awkward atmosphere in the BAR camp at this coming weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. Button and future Williams teammate Mark Webber are scheduled for Thursday's FIA press conference, at 3 pm local time.