Briatore denies stopping Button test

Renault chief Flavio Briatore has denied that Jenson Button is being blocked from testing for his new team British American Racing until the new year

Briatore denies stopping Button test

Although Button was only down to drive a BAR-Honda for two days before Christmas, it has been claimed that Renault would not allow it. Technically, he is still under contract to the French team.

But Briatore said he was never asked to give permission for Button to test. "It is true that Jenson is under contract with us up until the end of December, but we have never been asked either by David Richards or by Jenson's manager John Byfield to release Jenson from his contract earlier.

"After the Japanese Grand Prix, I was asked by Jenson's manager if Jenson could visit the Honda factory, which I had no problem authorising. If David Richards had requested Jenson for testing duties I would probably have accepted as it was fair."

Byfield also moved to clarify the situation. "Flavio has been extremely helpful and co-operative," he said. "He authorised Jenson's test for British American Racing on December 13th and 14th without hesitation and this will go ahead as planned."

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