While Williams-BMW was submitting its controversial contract with Jenson Button to the Contracts Recognition Board on Monday, the Briton spoke out about his reasons for leaving BAR.
While Williams-BMW was submitting its controversial contract with Jenson Button to the Contracts Recognition Board (CRB) on Monday, the Briton spoke out about his reasons for leaving Honda-backed British American Racing (BAR).
The independent CRB will now have the chance to examine Button's contract with BAR, which was concluded on July 20 ahead of the announcement on August 6 that the British driver would be joining Williams-BMW, as well as the Grove team's contract.
As with any contract, there are clauses on both sides and it is such clauses that enabled Button's manager, John Byfield, to approach team boss Frank Williams just head of the German Grand Prix. At Hockenheim, Honda confirmed an extension of its deal, which was to provide BAR with engines, for 2005 and beyond.
According to the , the delay from Williams-BMW in submitting the contract to the CRB was because the team had tried (without success) to resolve the dispute with BAR. The CRB will now determine, which team Button has a valid contract for in 2005, but even then, it may not be the end of the saga.
Meanwhile, Button denied his planned move to Williams-BMW was motivated by money and claimed that he would have earned more money had he stayed at BAR-Honda. But he added that unresolved contractual issues had played a part in his decision.
"I had a two-year contract with BAR, I've done the best possible job for them so far and will continue to do so," said Button. "My move to Williams is because I want to be a world champion and they give me the best chance. It is definitely not a money issue. If I was at BAR I would be earning more money next year."
Button did allow that indicated that unresolved contractual issues with BAR Honda added to his desire to leave the team.
"I can't talk about contractual issues, but one of the reasons I want to move on is that I'm not 100 per cent happy at the team," the Briton added. "We tried to resolve them, but to no avail."
Button also blamed David Richards for the way that the BAR team principal dealt with the situation.
"We had spoken to Williams beforehand," he said. "Through John Byfield (Jenson's manager) I spoke to BAR, and thought that would be best if he spoke to Richards first because it was on the contractual side. And then, immediately after, we were going to organise a meeting to run through what my goal was for the future - and that I wanted to leave and move to another team.
"That wasn't possible. As soon as John spoke to Richards it was leaked to the press, and the only person who knows why that happened is Richards himself," Button added.
On the subject of the upcoming CRB ruling, which will decide which team he drives for next season, Button said: "It will be resolved at the CRB and then we can move on."