Jaguar Boss: Button Handled Williams Deal Wrongly

Jenson Button's handling of contract talks with Williams were wrong, Formula One team bosses said on Friday.

Jaguar Boss: Button Handled Williams Deal Wrongly

Jenson Button's handling of contract talks with Williams were wrong, Formula One team bosses said on Friday.

BAR driver Button has said he had signed to drive for Williams next season. BAR, however, said they have a contract with the 24-year-old for 2005.

The wrangling between BAR and Button are a far cry from the negotiations held between Jaguar's Mark Webber and Williams this year, which resulted in an early release from the Australian's contract to make the move next year.

"I don't think the messages from the Jenson Button affair are quite what Formula One wants," Jaguar's team principal Tony Purnell told a news conference. "It is bad news for Formula One. We would like a cleaner image. It is a very unfortunate way to change teams.

"We are sad to see (Mark) Webber go but I think he has handled it beautifully. We have known the situation with Mark for many months and that proves you can do it quite sweetly and ethically if you like."

The International Automobile Federation's (FIA) Contract Recognition Board (CRB), an independent body based in Switzerland, are to decide on Button's future.

Team boss Eddie Jordan said news of Button's decision had surprised him, but he refused to take sides.

"It is hard to understand how, having just had your best race ever, you would announce a couple of days later that you are going to another team that may not be quite competitive as the one you are in," Jordan said.

"To do that, something needs to either have been brewing or the guy has lost his marbles, and I very much doubt Jenson has lost his marbles. But it's none of our business."

Button is third in the Drivers' Championship with 61 points while BAR are third in the constructors' race.

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