Jenson Button has made it clear that he wishes to remain with BAR next season but Frank Williams has made it equally clear that he believes Button is contractually bound to the Williams team for 2006. Button intended to leave BAR for Williams last...
Jenson Button has made it clear that he wishes to remain with BAR next season but Frank Williams has made it equally clear that he believes Button is contractually bound to the Williams team for 2006. Button intended to leave BAR for Williams last year but was prevented from doing so by contract issues. Now the situation is reversed, with Button backing BAR for the future and Williams claiming first call on his services.
Button said that he hoped Williams would understand the situation but Sir Frank is not terribly impressed with Jenson's change of mind. "A deal is a deal," said Williams. "A contract is a contract. I must explain that to Jenson. I have always believed that a signature on a contract is basically underlining a man's word given in honour. We have a proper and correct contract in place that will stand up to any examination."
Button believes that BAR offers him the best chance of winning the title in the future -- exactly the same thing that he said about Williams last year. Honda now owns 45% of BAR while Williams has yet to confirm an engine deal for 2006 and is currently struggling for performance. But Frank Williams is in no doubt that his team will return to form.
"I keep reading he (Button) wants to be world champion. Why can't he be world champion with us?" Williams said. "I understand Jenson's concerns about his team's competitive position and our uncompetitive situation at the moment. Teams go up and down. We shall be back, if not in the second half of this year, certainly next."
Button is promoting the argument that he needs to be with a team that can give him the chance to win the title and surely it's understandable that a driver only wants what's best for his career. However, while it's a reasonable point, it's the same argument he was using to get out of BAR last season and employing it again is not doing him any favours.
"This demonstrates that when a driver says, 'Sorry, I've changed my mind', every time it suits him, there will be chaos in the paddock," said Williams. "Sponsors will know that some teams don't keep their word as given in signed contracts. The same applies to drivers. A deal is a deal."
Williams suggested that the media was being used to support Button's case but it also seems that many feel Button is behaving like a dithering idiot, to put it politely, that needs a damn good clip round the ear. Whatever the case, it looks like the whole tedious BAR/Button/Williams mess is not going to be solved without further squabbling.