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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Button agrees deal to stay at BAR
Jenson Button
Williams have confirmed that they have released BAR driver Jenson Button from the deal that would have seen him switch Formula One teams next season.

The 25-year-old Briton, who decided in July that he would rather stay with BAR, has been released after reaching a financial settlement with Williams.

"I would like to thank Frank Williams for accommodating a compromise to what was a binding contract," said Button.

"I regret the difficulties my decision has caused everyone involved."

No details of the agreement were given but a Williams statement said: "As consideration for the release from the terms of his contract, Jenson has agreed a financial settlement with WilliamsF1."

Team owner Sir Frank Williams, who insisted over the summer that Button's contract was binding, expressed his relief that the 18-month saga was over.

There are many more goals for us to achieve together
Jenson Button

"I am glad that we have brought this matter to a conclusion and we can return to what we do best, racing," he said.

With Williams ending their relationship with engine provider BMW, Button feels his title ambitions are best served while BAR, who have the full backing of Honda.

BAR have already recruited Brazilian Rubens Barrichello for 2006, with Takuma Sato making way for the Ferrari driver.

And the team now believe they have their "dream line-up".

"We are delighted to be able to confirm our 2006 race driver line-up," said BAR-Honda chief executive officer Nick Fry.

He must be very careful not to become tainted goods
Eddie Jordan

"We can now put the uncertainty of the past few months behind us and focus on the future, which looks very exciting indeed.

"We have made no secret of the fact that we wanted Jenson to remain with us for the next few years and that we considered Jenson and Rubens to be our dream line-up for 2006 and beyond."

BAR also stated that Button has signed a multi-year extension to his current contract although the length of the deal has not been revealed.

"Since I joined the team in 2003 we've shared some important moments in my career and the team's history," added Button.

"There are many more goals for us to achieve together - not least of all winning the world championship."

Button, who has yet to win a race in 97 starts, is believed to be paying up to 20m to Williams so he can stay at BAR.

Only a year ago he tried to leave BAR in order to re-join Williams, with whom he got his F1 break in 2000.

Button was stopped from moving by BAR after the dispute was taken to the sport's contract recognition board but he then signed the deal with Williams for 2006.

And former team owner Eddie Jordan says Button is in danger of tarnishing his burgeoning reputation.

"If I was a team manager, I would be thinking how could I possibly sign a contract with Jenson when seemingly every contract he does sign he no longer wants to honour," Jordan told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I'm sure that's not Jenson and I believe somewhere in the background there is a management or a financial issue.

"But he must be very careful not to become tainted goods."

Williams must now resume their search for a driver to partner Mark Webber next season as Nick Heidfeld has already signed up for the new BMW team.

Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia, who will replace the injured Heidfeld for this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, is also in line for the drive.

Nico Rosberg, son of former champion Keke, has also been linked with a move.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC motorsport commentator Maurice Hamilton


Interview: Ex-Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan




SEE ALSO
Button happy about Williams talks
08 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Button frustrated by tyre choice
31 Jul 05 |  Formula One
Barrichello linked with BAR move
31 Jul 05 |  Formula One
Williams defiant in Button tussle
29 Jul 05 |  Formula One
I'm not tied to Williams - Button
28 Jul 05 |  Formula One
BAR deny making offer for Button
26 Jul 05 |  Formula One


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