Q & A with Button and Fry

Q. Nick, you always said you wanted to keep Jenson here for life, how close did you get to doing that?

Q & A with Button and Fry

Jenson Button: Can a 60-year old race in Formula One?!

Nick Fry: Let's put it this way, he doesn't have to worry for the next few years about where he is going to be and our feelings are exactly the same because our objective is for Jenson to be with us for the foreseeable future and the contract is multi-year, we are not giving away details but it is for a long time, we don't have to worry about things, and I am sure there will be no Buttongate next year. JB: Ah, that is a nice position!

Q. Jenson, you are sure this puts you on the way to winning your first Grand Prix and then winning a championship?

JB: Yeah, definitely. This is where it all starts, really, for me. I have been in Formula One for six years but, for me, this is the place that it is really going to all start. We are going to build on where we are at the moment and I think we are a team that will be fighting for the World Championship in the future. I would not have fought as hard for this if I did not truly believe that.

Q. Do you see the last six years as your learning experience, you have made your mistakes and learned from it and next season it will all come together.

JB: Next season we will all make mistakes, that is human, but I think I have been ready to win races but as a team we have not been ready. Now we are ready to fight for that and we will see that happen next year.

Q. Are you both confident in the long-term future of the team with tobacco sponsorship moving on and the team being owned by BAT?

NF: Absolutely. BAT have made it very clear for some years now that they intended to get out eventually and the key, obviously, was 45 percent going to Honda, and one of the bigger car companies in the world owning us is tremendous for us so I have absolutely zero worries about the future of our team.

Q. I know you don't want to talk much about Williams but when did you start to realise that was not the place you wanted to be and exactly why do you think their team is not as good as BAR?

JB: I think I will turn it around and say the reasons why I wanted to be at BAR-Honda. Originally after hearing that Honda were committed to the team, they were not just going to be involved but they own 45 percent of the team, which is massive in Formula One, and obviously their history has been pretty amazing. So that was the first turning point, but also seeing how this team have worked under pressure and under difficult circumstances, I mean, this year has been difficult for us all and they have been able to bring it back from what we had at the start of the year to produce a very strong car. We are not there yet, but that really showed me how strong everyone is and how determined they are to make this all work. And that is something that doesn't always work in Formula One, you know. When things are tough you always see who are strong and who aren't, and I think a lot of teams in Formula One would have really maybe gone down even more so than what we had at the beginning of the year.

Q. How did it feel to step into Frank's study and tell him that his team is not one that is going to win races and World Championships and is not where you want to be?

JB: It is always going to be a difficult situation, whoever you are talking to, if you are a friend. You know, we are good friends, so it is a tough position to be in. But I had to go with what I though was right and I think it showed how determined I was to make this work, how much I really want to be at BAR-Honda.

Q. Frank's views on drivers in the past have been to slot them in and out as required, so was it ultimately about money?

JB: I think there were many things that were involved. He also realised this was best for both of us. A driver that wants to be in another team, whose heart is with another team, I think he really realised that.

Q. I know money is a touchy subject, but have you financially lost out by staying at BAR?

JB: I am not going to say if I have lost out or what, but it's, um, ooh, anyway, I can't really say any more on that!

Q. Nick, I know we feel sorry for Jenson that he has dipped in his pocket but everything we have read suggests Jenson is paying X-amount of money and Honda are paying him XX-amount of money and therefore he is not going to be out of pocket.

NF: I think that is your conjecture. That is not the case. The money has come from Jenson and we are not going into big details but all I can say is Jenson has not made this decision because of money, absolutely not.

Q. This is a case of you putting your money where your mouth is in terms of where you want to be.

JB: Yep, and now we have just got to make it work, all of us.

Q. Does that add a bit of pressure?

JB: I don't know if it is pressure.

NF: I think it is in many ways a good thing. Firstly, on Jenson's side, he has made a huge commitment to our team from his own pocket, and I can't think of any other circumstances where drivers have been prepared to do that on this magnitude. From our side, it does put pressure on us as well because not only do we have to deliver the results as we normally would, we have someone here who has shown that degree of loyalty to us and we have to repay it. In many ways, it could be seen as a good thing on both sides, because it has really focused us on what we have to do.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
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