Button: Williams Contract Not Binding

British Formula One driver Jenson Button says Williams cannot force him to leave rival team BAR and join them next season

Button: Williams Contract Not Binding

"Initially, we don't think the contract is binding," the 25-year-old told reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Thursday when asked how he proposed to get out of his commitment.

"Secondly, I don't think any team wants a driver that would like to be racing for somebody else. I can't see why anybody would want that."

Button was reminded that his position was the opposite of what he said last year when he wanted to join Williams and was thwarted by BAR.

The two Formula One teams fought a legal battle over his contract and BAR won, forcing him to stay another year despite the driver's insistence that he wanted to return to the team that gave him his Grand Prix debut in 2000.

Williams are convinced they have a watertight deal for 2006 but Button said the circumstances had changed since then, with Honda buying 45 percent of BAR and Williams's exclusive partnership with BMW ending.

"This is a crucial decision for me," he said.

"The choice I have made is the right one for the future. This is a decision that I think will change my career so I have to make it.

"I've sat down with Frank (Williams) and we've had a few chats about it and I've told him the way that I feel. I don't know if he understands but I need to be with the best team I possibly can be with," added Button.

Championship Bid

Button finished third overall last year but has yet to win a race in 94 starts.

"I've been in Formula One for six years now and I'm ready to win races and challenge for the World Championship and I can't wait another three years, building another team up," he said.

"I need to be with a team that's capable of doing it in the short term."

Button said the key was to be with a team that had a manufacturer fully involved as owners, not just as an engine supplier.

He said the key to his determination to stay at BAR, after having been previously equally adamant about leaving, was Honda's decision to invest heavily.

The tough season, with BAR disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix and then barred for two races, had also shown him just how strong the team were.

"I was amazed really. I went to the factory after Barcelona and saw the whole team, and to see how determined they were to turn it around - I was very surprised. It just shows how well everyone works together," said Button.

The English driver said he had made a mistake last year but was hopeful that an agreement could be reached between BAR, who see Button as the face of their future, and Williams without recourse to lawyers.

"He (Frank) has given a small hint that we can negotiate," he said, refusing to confirm speculation that he might be willing to use his own money to help matters along but suggesting it was a possibility.

shares
comments
Raikkonen Gloomy about Title Hopes
Previous article

Raikkonen Gloomy about Title Hopes

Next article

Coulthard Set for Another Milestone

Coulthard Set for Another Milestone
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022