F1 »

Is Button salary dispute just tip of Brawn GP iceberg?

Newly-crowned F1 World Champion Jenson Button may not be the only member of Brawn GP unhappy at the financial offer on the table for 2010, it seems...
It is being speculated within the F1 paddock that the ongoing salary stand-off between newly-crowned world champion Jenson Button and his Brawn GP team is only the tip of the iceberg as trouble brews behind-the-scenes at Brackley – with reports that beyond the glow of title glory, other senior members are similarly unhappy with financial arrangements and are being courted elsewhere.

Though both sides continue to deny it, it is widely reckoned that the reason Button still has no contract in-place for 2010 is that there is a considerable discrepancy between what the British star wants to be paid, and what his team is willing to give him.

The 29-year-old surrendered more than 60 per cent of his previous Honda pay packet last winter to enable the team to stay afloat in the wake of the Japanese parent company's sudden and shock withdrawal from competition – but there was always the understanding, he believed, that his retainer would be re-instated once the necessary finances were in-place.

Not only did Brawn GP survive the uncertain winter – albeit with the loss of 250 jobs, practically a third of the workforce – but with its Mercedes-powered BGP 001 the team has thoroughly dominated the 2009 F1 campaign, with eight victories from 16 starts so far, six for Britain's tenth world champion and two for team-mate Rubens Barrichello. That outstanding level of success, Button argues, should be recognised with a far more appealing financial offer on the table for 2010 – but no offer of the like has yet been forthcoming.

Having been on an annual retainer of £8 million during the Honda days, it is believed that Button is now being offered barely a third of that to remain on-board next year and bid for back-to-back titles – something no British driver has done before in the 60-year official history of the world championship. The sport's other big-hitters and fellow champions Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and compatriot Lewis Hamilton are reputedly paid respectively £25 million, £20 million and £15 million per season.

Moreover, according to the Daily Telegraph, Button – who allegedly had to fly on budget airlines to all the races this year and washed his own overalls in-between grands prix, expenses for which he was not allowed to claim – is far from the only member of Brawn GP unhappy with his financial situation, with a number of senior engineering staff similarly displeased with their bonuses. That has prompted rival outfits to make lucrative overtures towards tempting them away from Brackley – and it is rumoured that Button himself has received offers from other teams.

“No one has said anything to me about this,” CEO Nick Fry told the Telegraph. “I am extremely surprised. We will look into any concerns that people have, though I am not aware of any. As far as we are concerned these are internal matters, but if there is an issue with anybody we are quite happy to talk to them about it.

“Salary negotiation is not something we do in public. However, I will say that any and all contractual bonuses will of course be paid. We will be sitting down with Jenson after Abu Dhabi to discuss his contract.”

It has been speculated for some time now that engine-supplier Mercedes-Benz – who played a pivotal role in saving Brawn GP from extinction – is looking at potentially buying a majority share in the squad, whilst there are assurances that a mystery title sponsor has already been secured for 2010. However, the rewards promised to the team's loyal staff for the on-track success have yet to materialise.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button [Pic credit: Brawn GP]
Lewis Hamilton, James Corden
Marussia, Sauber
Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, The Safety car on the track
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


gonen6t - Unregistered

October 22, 2009 1:44 PM

Though not a huge button fan, the man drove stellar this year. Six wins and a championship, What more could a team ask for. He deserves to make top flight pay in 2010.

Robsy - Unregistered

October 22, 2009 1:54 PM

Well, it didnt take long for the rumour mills to start trying to drag his team down. Frankly, I think the make-do-and-mend nature of this season for the guys at Brawn actually contributed to their success. These guys all had to get their hands dirty, make sacrifices and really thnk about the value of everything that was happening. There is nothing quite like shared difficulty to bring a team together.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.