BAR boss David Richards believes that Jenson Button is contracted to his team for 2005 but Williams is adamant that its deal with the Englishman is legal and binding. BAR stated that it had renewed its option on Button in July but Frank Williams...
BAR boss David Richards believes that Jenson Button is contracted to his team for 2005 but Williams is adamant that its deal with the Englishman is legal and binding. BAR stated that it had renewed its option on Button in July but Frank Williams challenges that claim and asserted that Button will drive for Williams in 2005.
"The first clear and unequivocal point is that we hold a contract with Jenson," said Williams. "It appears that BAR contest this. However we are of the firm opinion, on strong legal advice, that BAR lost the opportunity to obtain Jenson and I have no doubt he will be with the Williams BMW F1 team for 2005."
Button was not even thought to be in the frame for a Williams seat and had often said his future was with BAR. Even Frank was surprised that Button was available and was quick to take the chance. "We assumed it was out of the question but this is an opportunity I have experienced in the past and being a racing team we went for it," Williams said.
"We have a contract with Jenson and we are of the opinion that BAR lost its opportunity to retain him."
Button will meet with BAR before next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix to finally talk things through. He has been out of contact with the team since the news broke on Thursday. "It is a decision that was very difficult," he said in a television interview on Saturday.
"It probably was the most difficult and emotional decision you have to make as a driver but you have to think about number one and you have to be ruthless. You have to choose your own direction and keep your career moving. It is another step for me next year."
The rumour mill suggests that BAR third driver Anthony Davidson could step into Button's seat for next year and former champion Mika Hakkinen has also been mentioned. Some say Davidson could even be in the race seat this season as Button and BAR's relationship will now be decidedly frosty. We will just have to wait and see…