BAR Delighted to Keep Button

The BAR team were delighted to keep Jenson Button for next season after buying his way out of a contract with Formula One rivals Williams on Wednesday

Williams said in a statement that they had reached a financial settlement with the 25-year-old driver "to release him from his contractual commitment to the team for 2006 and beyond."

Button had previously maintained that the contract was not binding while Williams, who gave the driver his debut in 2000, had previously insisted that no amount of money would persuade him to let Button go.

"We are delighted to be able to confirm our 2006 race driver line-up," said BAR CEO Nick Fry. "We can now put the uncertainty of the past few months behind us and focus on the future, which looks very exciting indeed.

"We have made no secret of the fact that we wanted Jenson Button to remain with BAR Honda for the next few years and that we considered Jenson and Rubens to be our dream line-up for 2006 and beyond."

Wednesday's deal ended a long-running saga, with Button trying to join Williams last year but being thwarted after the dispute was taken to the sport's contract recognition board.

The driver, who has yet to win a race in 97 starts, then signed a contract to join Williams in 2006.

He changed his mind however after Honda bought 45 percent of BAR while engine partners BMW announced they were leaving Williams to buy Sauber.

"I'm obviously delighted to confirm that I will be staying with BAR 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. 2005 has been a challenging year but we've bounced back from our problems and the team is much stronger as a result.

"I also have a new teammate in Rubens Barrichello and I look forward to the two of us pushing each other, and working together to keep driving the team forward."

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