F1’s Contract Recognitions Board (CBR) on Wednesday declared that Jenson Button is legally bound to BAR for the 2005 season.

F1’s Contract Recognitions Board (CBR) on Wednesday declared that Jenson Button is legally bound to BAR for the 2005 season.

"BAR has expressed delight at the confirmation from the Contract Recognition Board that BAR's contract with Jenson Button is the only valid contract for 2005," the team said in a statement.

"Jenson has played a crucial role in BAR's success over the past two seasons, particularly this year when BAR is hopeful of finishing second in the 2004 Constructors' Championship."

BMW Williams, involved in the battle for Button’s services, acknowledged the verdict but confirmed that it would not be challenging the CBR’s judgement.

Williams’ team boss Frank Williams said: “Naturally we are disappointed with the CRB’s conclusion. We took the view that Jenson was a driver worth challenging for, and based on strong legal advice, we have no regrets about making a bid for his services.

“The CRB accepted a significant number of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team’s arguments, but nevertheless found against us. We do not believe any further legal action in relation to this matter to be in the broader interests of the sport.

“In spite of the CRB’s conclusion, which relates to 2005, we will maintain our close relationship with Jenson for 2006.”

In response to the verdict, Button commented, “I am disappointed by the ruling, but as a matter of principle, I firmly believe in standing by the decision the CRB have reached today. BAR have been extremely professional at the race track during this process, and I expect this to continue. I look forward to joining the BMW WilliamsF1 Team in the future.”