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  Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 00:31 GMT 01:31 UK
Button aims big with BAR
Dave Richards welcomes Jenson Button to BAR
Jenson Button (r) and BAR's Dave Richards

Jenson Button insists he is not gambling with his future by signing with British American Racing.

The British driver believes that the team has a realistic chance of challenging for the championship in the near future.

The 22-year-old has agreed a two-year deal with a further two-year option after BAR team principal Dave Richards swooped for his services.

Button had been told by his current team Renault that he was being released at the end of the season the day after the British Grand Prix.

But he has bounced back from that disappointment and believes that BAR have the potential to worry the leading teams.

"They are a team that will improve over the next few years," said Button.

"I think that people will see improvements even next year because the package will be stronger.

"I have a lot of respect for Dave Richards and what he has achieved at the team in a short space of time.

"I don't know what it will be like next year - you have to go on trust - but I've known Dave for a long time."

Richards said that he viewed Button as another building block in the long-term strategy for BAR after the arrival of former Williams aerodynamist Geoff Willis.

"It happened quite quickly but when you get an opportunity like this, you don't sit on the sidelines - you make a quick decision," he said.

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Jenson Button
"It's a team that's going to improve"
See also:

22 Jul 02 | Formula One
22 Jul 02 | Formula One
22 Jul 02 | Photo Galleries
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