Williams Not Taking Button for Granted

Williams say it is still too early to assume that Briton Jenson Button will be joining them next season

Williams Not Taking Button for Granted

Button, who made his Formula One debut with Williams in 2000, wanted to return to the BMW-powered team for 2005 but was denied when a tribunal ruled BAR had the right to his services.

Although details are confidential, both teams have said the 25-year-old must be within a certain percentage of the Championship leader's score by a given point in the season for him to be retained by BAR.

That is looking unlikely after the Honda-powered team were banned for two races, this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix and the Monaco race on May 22, for breach of the weight and fuel regulations.

Button has yet to score a point after being stripped of third place at Imola last month and will not be back in action until the seventh race of the season, the European Grand Prix on May 29.

Williams technical director Sam Michael warned, however, it would be wrong to take anything for granted.

"It's certainly not over yet," he told reporters at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday.

"With Jenson racing again from the Nurburgring onwards, that still gives him I think eight Grands Prix to fulfil his obligations there (at BAR).

"While it's still mathematically possible (for him to score the necessary points), it's not really something that I'm ready to discuss until he's available to us."

Eight races from the Nurburgring would mean Button would become available to Williams at the end of August, after the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix which is the 14th of 19 rounds this season.

Button told reporters on Friday he remained determined to do his best for BAR this year.

"They are a fantastic team to be with," he said. "We're going to be very strong (at the Nurburgring) and very determined to show that we are a strong team that can fight for wins.

"There's a lot more to be done before any decisions are made," he added.

Williams, winners of last year's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, have Australian Mark Webber and Germany's Nick Heidfeld as their 2005 drivers.

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