As expected, BAR has confirmed that Jenson Button will remain with the team for 2006 and has also negotiated a multi-year extension of his contract. Williams confirmed it had reached a financial settlement with Button to release him from his ...
As expected, BAR has confirmed that Jenson Button will remain with the team for 2006 and has also negotiated a multi-year extension of his contract. Williams confirmed it had reached a financial settlement with Button to release him from his contract with them after lengthy negotiations in which the Englishman had made it clear he wished to remain with BAR. The amount was undisclosed.
"I'm obviously delighted to confirm that I will be staying with BAR Honda for the next few years," said Button. "Since I joined the team in 2003 we've shared some important moments in my career and the team's history. There are many more goals for us to achieve together -- not least of all winning the World Championship. I want to be at BAR Honda to see that happen -- and I believe that it will happen."
Button will be teammate to Rubens Barrichello next year after the Brazilian was signed earlier this season. Where Takuma Sato's future lies is uncertain. "Takuma's current contract reaches its conclusion at the end of 2005 but BAR Honda is in discussions with Takuma and his management regarding possibilities for the future," said BAR chief executive Nick Fry.
Button has been with BAR since 2003 but last year he announced his intention to leave and join Williams for 2005. However, he was prevented from doing so by a contract ruling. This year the situation was reversed, with Button wanting to stay at BAR for the future. Initially Frank Williams was adamant that his team would keep Button but after long discussions Jenson finally got his way.
"I would like to thank Frank for accommodating a compromise to what was a binding contract and I regret the difficulties my decision has caused everyone involved," said Button.
Barrichello will join BAR after six years at Ferrari. "I am very pleased that our team will feature one of the strongest driver line-ups in Formula One for 2006 and beyond," said BAR sporting director Gil de Ferran. "I know both Rubens and Jenson well and I have every confidence that they will work well together to develop our car and team whilst competing strongly at the race track."
Who will take Button's place at Williams alongside Mark Webber is yet to be announced. Team tester Antonio Pizzonia, who is currently standing in for the injured Nick Heidfeld, is thought to be a possibility, along with fellow tester Nico Rosberg. Heidfeld has already signed to race with the new BMW team next year.