Richards: Jenson may stay put

David Richards believes BAR's Jenson Button may decide to stay at the team in 2006 after Honda announced today that it had bought a 45 per cent stake in the British outfit.

Richards: Jenson may stay put

Button signed a contract with Williams earlier this year after his management believed they had found a loophole in his contract. The Briton's move was subsequently prevented by the Contracts Recognition Board and was forced to stay at BAR next year.

It was thought that Button would switch to Williams at the end of next year, but Richards believes Honda's commitment to the team could make the Briton reconsider.

"I certainly hope he would consider that," he said. "It's a question you have to ask Jenson and I think when he sees the performance of the car next year and the team he will realise there are great foundations here and a great team of people to go forward with, but that's something he has to address and I don't suppose he'll be making that decision in the short-term, I think he'll wait to see how next year pans out."

Richards also believes that the team's elusive win is not too far away and that the new car stands a good chance of toppling world champions Ferrari.

"The car will be extremely competitive next year, Honda has done a great job on the new engine, the chassis looks good, the driver line-up is stable and going forward so I think that elusive win that we were looking for this year is now just around the corner," he said.

"Despite everyone expecting Ferrari to be really strong next year there is every chance that BAR can challenge them right the way down the line next year so I think it's going to be a very interesting year ahead."

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