Theissen backs Button deal

Mario Theissen has emphasised BMW's support for Williams' move to sign Jenson Button and rubbished suggestions that there has ever been a split between BMW Motorsport and Williams over the controversial signing. The BMW Motorsport director insists that the team now has the drivers that it wants and that it has taken a big step forward in its quest for a successful 2005 season

Theissen backs Button deal

"We have succeeded in signing our preferred drivers," said Theissen of the deals with Button and Mark Webber. "Both contracts have been signed over the course of the summer break. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team has used this break to successfully set the course for the 2005 season. We are looking forward to the cooperation with them and are determined to return to our former performance level with our new drivers, new motivation and a new car."

Theissen also emphasised that BMW was always in the loop as the deals were concluded and backed Frank Williams' moves.

"While the Mark Webber deal has been on our agenda for some time," he said, "the chance of signing Jenson Button arose at short notice. The contact between him and our team hasn't ceased since he left us at the end of the 2000 season. However, due to his contractual situation, we had never expected that he would be available for the 2005 season. On the eve of the German Grand Prix, however, the situation suddenly changed.

"Jenson contacted Frank Williams and told him, that he was keen to drive for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, and that his contract offered him the opportunity to do so. WilliamsF1 informed us of this possibility and had the contractual situation examined. The result was the same. Therefore, he signed a deal with WilliamsF1. From my point of view, this is no extraordinary action.

"We have been involved in the negotiations from day one. In both cases, Frank Williams asked us to support his plans and he had our full support concerning both drivers. Therefore, I was rather astonished when I read about alleged differences of opinion within our team. The opposite is the case: In the past twelve months, the cooperation has become closer and better."

Theissen is also firm in his belief that Williams' contract with Button is solid and that BAR will not succeed in its bid to retain the Briton.

"We believe that this matter will be resolved by a legal process," he said "and we are confident of the outcome."

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