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Button to leave BAR

Discussion in 'F1' started by daz355, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. daz355

    daz355 Formula Junior

    Jan 31, 2004
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    Jenson is to be leaving BAR at the end of the season and will become a Williams driver as of 2005.Is this a mistake or not?
    Daz
     
  2. andybm3

    andybm3 Karting
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    Its real, interesting ..................
     
  3. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Didn't Button already do a stint with Williams? I'd always be wondering if the Japanese guy was getting better motors!
     
  4. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    May 14, 2004
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    In a shock move, Jenson Button will leave BAR Honda at the end of the season and join Mark Webber on the racing front at BMW Williams it was announced late on Thursday evening. Button, under contract to BAR for 2005, makes the move back to the team that gave him his F1 race debut in 2000.

    In his first season with Williams alongside Ralf Schumacher, the English driver collected just eight points for the team with a best result of fourth at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim - a circuit he excelled at in 2004. Button was then loaned out to Renault for 2001/02 and after a disappointing spell with the French outfit, Button, 24, has and BAR Honda emerged as one of the main leaders of the pack chasing Ferrari champion Michael Schumacher in 2004.

    The Briton hailed his second place behind Schumacher in Germany last month as his best drive and is placed third in the drivers' championship behind leader Schumacher and Ferrari's second driver Rubens Barrichello.

    The move means an end to Jacques Villeneuve’s slim hopes of returning to F1 in 2005 with Williams are dashed. Antonio Pizzonia will also be super-disappointed not to be given the race seat alongside Webber in 2005, despite a strong showing in his race debut with the team at Hockenheim. The Williams test driver will be back in action next weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    BAR meanwhile, will almost certainly promote Friday teat driver Anthony Davidson to the role of race driver with the squad.

    Earl ALEXANDER
    CAPSIS International
     
  5. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    This is awesome.
     
  6. andybm3

    andybm3 Karting
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    Button likely to find legal battle barring path to BMW-Williams
    By Kevin Eason



    JENSON BUTTON is getting ready to walk out on the team that saved his Formula One career to take a £10 million-a-year contract with BMWWilliams next season. But executives at his BAR Honda team, who have helped the youngster to third place in the World Championship this season, will not give up without a fight and will today serve legal papers that could embroil Button in a court battle that will tarnish his image as the golden boy of British motor racing.
    BAR believed that signing Button for another two years, with a hefty pay rise, was a formality under the terms of their present contract, which gave them first call on his services. Button, too, seemed enthusiastic. But BAR’s dream of taking the Englishman to a remarkable World Championship victory turned out to be no more than an illusion when his management company, Essentially Sport, issued a letter yesterday said to question Honda’s commitment.



    That gave Button a get-out clause, which has, it is understood, allowed him to tear up the option that BAR held on him for another two years to sign with BMW-Williams, the team that brought him into Formula One at 19. The deal, revealed for the first time today by The Times, was secret and will come as a bombshell to Formula One.

    The 400 staff at BAR Honda’s factory in Brackley, Northamptonshire, were said to be shocked by the news, having invested their faith in one of the most charismatic properties in world sport; Button was not just the team’s No 1 driver, but their figurehead. His departure would not only have severe implications for the team’s future on the track, but could have a dramatic effect on their commercial future, with sponsors attracted to Button’s outgoing personality and his “Posh and Becks” style relationship with Louise Griffiths, his fiancée who is trying to launch a pop music career.

    David Richards, the team principal, was last night trying to contact Button to get an explanation as to why the driver he had nurtured had terminated their relationship so abruptly. The last time Richards saw Button was when they drank champagne together after the German Grand Prix 12 days ago, when their driver took an heroic second place. Button has since gone on a well-earned holiday.

    A furious Richards said: “To be treated like this is dumbfounding. We are all utterly shaken. I have got 400 people in this factory who have worked their socks off night and day and then the guy who gets all the credit and drinks the champagne turns around and ditches them.

    “I cannot believe that Jenson wants to leave. There is a hidden agenda here somewhere and we are determined this is not going to happen. Somebody has been looking for a get-out clause because there is absolutely no doubt Honda are committed. Honda only announced they were renewing and extending their contract with us before the race in Germany, so why should there be a doubt?

    “We believe we can make Jenson Button a world champion and we, with Honda, have proved this year that we are going in the right direction and we thought we were all going together. Perhaps Jenson has been led in another direction — down the garden path. I can only hope that I can talk to him and make sense of what is going on.”

    Button’s career was effectively rescued by Richards after a couple of years in which his future in Formula One teetered precariously on the precipice. Brought into the sport by Sir Frank Williams, Button became Formula One’s prodigy and its youngest points scorer in only his second race. But he was then dumped to allow Juan Pablo Montoya to join Williams and was sent to Benetton-Renault where he spent an unhappy two years.

    Just when it seemed his promise might fizzle out, Richards put him alongside Jacques Villeneuve at BAR. Richards and BAR provided an environment that supported Button, now 24, and he has thrived; he embarrassed the 1997 world champion last season and this year has been knocking on the door of his first victory, all signs that seemed to point to an alliance that could break the stranglehold that Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have held on Formula One.

    However, Williams has long been an admirer and needed a replacement to partner Mark Webber for 2005. Despite that, he will not want a legal battle to get his man and that is the messy prospect that faces Button, BAR and Williams.
     
  7. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

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    Yes, there will be legal wrangling but it appears obvious that Button will drive for Williams next year. From the report I read, BAR left an option to retain Button unsigned and that is his way out. I don't think that there is much doubt that Williams/BMW will get its act together again and with Webber and Button, will be formidable opponents next year.

    Bar now needs to find a driver. They'll probably bring up Pizzonia but, IMHO, he's not what they need. Who else coud fill the shoes? I wonder if JV is hoping for a phone call from his old team?
     
  8. speedy_sam

    speedy_sam F1 Veteran

    Jul 13, 2004
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    This has been a day of surprises ...

    Button to Williams and DaMatta out to be replaced by Zonta...

    I could never have predicted Button's move. He seemed happy at BAR and had really good vibes with David Richards and the BAR team. He must have been made an offer "you cannot refuse". DR must be weeping into his pillow tonight.

    Williams 05 line-up looks really good - Button and Webber. It was a good coup for them...

    Maybe Davidson will get a BAR race seat next year. He sure deserves it....

    I am personally wondering if this is a mistake as:

    1. Williams is not known to be a place where drivers have strong relationships with the team bosses. He wont get any of that David Richards treatment there.

    2. At BAR he was the clear No 1 but I am sure he will be a joint #1 at Williams against a fast Webber

    3. The BAR is performing better than the Williams at present. Who is to say this wont be true next year.
     
  9. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

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    My feelings exactly. I can't believe this move!

    If this does all eventuate, what I'll be looking forward to is seeing Button and Webber battling it out on the track!
     
  10. F1racer

    F1racer F1 Rookie

    Oct 5, 2003
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    What a surprise!!

    Button and Webber for next year.
    I remember someone saying a long time ago that Williams are going for Webber and Button. (I think its Andreas)
    I agreed on Webber but Jenson I never thought he would leave BAR.

    Is it a bad move?
    Honestly ...I think BAR are heading in the right direction. Williams always have their ups and down.

    Now who will be driving for BAR next year?
    Hakkinen no....Jacques no...(with Dave Richards in charge forget it) DC ..maybe
    Da Matta..maybe
    Trulli...I could see him going.
    Davidson...I think its going to be him for sure.
     
  11. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Wouldn't Davidson be more likely to go to one of the "lesser" teams such as Jaguar or Sauber? Just a thought, it seems like there would be other driver's that would be better with the team. I know many people are high on AD, but is he really a better driver than Coulthard or Hakkinen (assuming Hakkinen wants back in)?

    As far as Button goes, he is a very good driver, but has an excellent car and little bad luck as well. I read something after a few races this season where Button was proclaiming himself equal to Schumacher in driving ability. LOL.

    Once KR and JPM get their car sorted, along with Alonso, and of course Ferrari, Button may find it tough to find podiums, much less a World Championship.
     
  12. hps

    hps Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
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    Predictions....

    1) Button blows away Webber...massively.
    2) DC to BAR...(think about it....Davidson and Sato are too inexperienced to lead a team.....)


    hps
     
  13. LA Swede

    LA Swede Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2003
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    Who would replace Webber at Jaguar? Wirdheim, anyone?
     
  14. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    Looks like the traditional top 4 teams will have awesome teammates. It looks like Barrichello is the weak link out of Ferrari/McLaren/Williams/Renault.
     
  15. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

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    Sorry, I mean't Davidson in my earlier post. I hadn't thought about DC. Moving to BAR would certainly help him with more credence for his annual "I can win the championship" statement than, say, a seat at Jag. I'm not sure about the statement about Barrichello being the weakest driver in the top four teams. I really think that his team mate makes him look like less of a driver than he really is. IMHO, of all of them, my vote for weakest would go to Webber.
     
  16. tfazio

    tfazio Formula 3
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    It is so rare these days for rumors not to come out before something happens. How this was kept hidden I will never know. I guess it is nice that we all can be suprised sometimes. If anything, this definitely will make F1 more interesting. BAR and Williams will be bitter rivals now and should make for some entertaining competition. I cannot see why Button would have want to go to Williams. It appears to me like BAR is going in the right direction and Williams is going the wrong way. Like someone else said, Button must have been given an offer he couldn't refuse. IMHO he should have given BAR a chance to match it since without them who knows where he would be or he would evn be engaged to. However, Williams gave him his first ride in F1 so maybe he is showing loyalty to them. It is going to be strange to see Button racing for BAR for the rest of the season. If he does in fact intend to leave, I wouldn't be suprised if BAR released him for the rest of the season.

    Who should replace Button? I say Mika would be the best fit if he decides to come back. He has already proven that he knows how to win if he has a great car. Davidson deserves a shot but with so many other high profile drivers out there it will be hard for him to get that seat.
     
  17. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
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    This move surprised me as well. I can't beleive Button would leave BAR for the disgruntled Williams team. There must have been a hidden ploy in this deal for Jenson to come back. I feel terrible for BAR, but I think Honda may actually be happy that Sato could become the top driver. He is a god in Japan (was there for the last race) where everyone loves him and would be a great marketing stratetgy for Honda. I would like to see Davidson get the other seat.
     
  18. Mr.Manny

    Mr.Manny Karting

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    GOOD FOR HIM , BAR IS GETTING WHAT IT DESERVES LOOK WHAT THEY DID TO JV HE PUT ALOT OF WORK INTO THE CAR , AND HE GOT CANNED.
     
  19. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Hmmm, and it is a big hmmmm for me.

    I am really shocked. Why would Button throw away a team that is powering up the grid and has Honda's full support (er, which I believe is for the long haul), and absolutely number 1 status, with EVERYBODY in the team behind him.

    I just do not get it.

    Yes the Williams race team are proven WC winners, but BAR are showing great promise and to have bagged their first WC, even win, would have been better for his career than MS winning for Benetton.

    Thus I have to conclude that Williams could not find anybody they really wanted so sucked their boy back in ... and in one hit have reduced the number of real contenders (teams wise) for next year by 1 ... infact they have probably fncked BAR completely because sponsors will be confused!

    - A disaster for F1 IMO, we need more competitive teams ... :(
    - A disaster for Button's PR IMO, and maybe the beginning of the end for his career (ie. if the Williams is not competitive next year his briliance in the BAR will be soon forgotten).
    - A possible issue for Webber ... but he is an Aussie so he will not be scared of competition, but it will be his first real test, ie. first known to be good team mate.

    Pete
     
  20. Mike360

    Mike360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
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    I think Davidson is in the other seat for next year. I read somewhere that it's the case.

    Who do you think will be faster in the williams? Jense or Mark????
     
  21. hps

    hps Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    338
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    ??????? work ???? I would venture to say that JV got what he deserved....
    BAR is significantly better off without Jacques......you can only shoot your mouth off so ofter, without the results to back it up.
    Going to disagree with you on this one Mr. Manny.....

    hps
     
  22. F1racer

    F1racer F1 Rookie

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    Can't wait to see the Button vs Webber showdown. I think Button will be faster.
    Button vs Webber
    Raikkonen vs Montoya
    Fisichella vs Alonso

    I'm really looking forward for next season!
     
  23. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    No contest ... Alonso will destroy useless Fisi ...

    Pete
     
  24. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Good question.

    I think Jensen may have the initial edge but Weber will ultimately be faster (I hope) and this is because the guy just wants to win bad, and Aussies (and Kiwis) can take on challenges.

    It will be extremely interesting and vital for Mark to beat JB, vital!!!!

    Pete
     
  25. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    Just like Fisi will dismantle Alonso. :)
     

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