F1 »

Brawn admits rivals 'tried to unsettle' Button's title bid

Newly-crowned F1 World Champion Jenson Button was the subject of financial bids by rival teams to try to 'unsettle' him in 2009, Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn has revealed
Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn has revealed that some of Jenson Button's F1 rivals endeavoured to 'unsettle' the British star during his march to F1 World Championship glory in 2009 – using his ongoing contract malaise as ammunition by which to attempt to knock him off his stride.

Though fifth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos last month was enough to finally fulfil the early season promise that Button and the former Honda F1 outfit had displayed and clinch both the drivers' and constructors' crowns, for much of the summer the 29-year-old appeared to be making hard work of things indeed.

As the Mercedes-powered BGP 001 – which had come out of the blocks in storming fashion in the Melbourne curtain-raiser, and remained the benchmark throughout the opening seven grands prix of the campaign – began to fall increasingly into the clutches of its rivals and ceased to be the F1 pace-setter, Button seemed to struggle to adapt and cope with the pressure, and from Istanbul in early June onwards he ascended the podium only twice and, worse still, found himself routinely outpaced by team-mate and title challenger Rubens Barrichello.

Whilst he might have pulled it all together again in time to finish the job off in São Paulo with a race to spare, Brawn has acknowledged that other teams approached Button during his barren run with offers for 2010 – well aware that he still has no firm deal on the table at Brackley, his favoured option – in what the Englishman believes was a tactic to try to sway his focus from the job in-hand.

“He has some offers,” Brawn is quoted as having said by Sky Sports. “Our business is incredibly competitive. There were people, when they became aware of Jenson's contractual situation, who tried to unsettle him during the championship. He knew some of those tactics were for that reason.

“Jenson wants a very competitive car and he wants a reasonable salary. If we offer those two things, we'll find a reasonable solution. I'm pretty optimistic. It's not a situation we would have planned, to be at this stage without the world champion tied up, but all the talks have been positive so far.”

The crux of the deadlock in negotiations is the fact that Button wants his erstwhile Honda salary – two-thirds of which he sacrificed in order to help the team to stay afloat in the wake of the Japanese manufacturer's sudden and shock withdrawal late last year – to be re-instated in a manner befitting of the new world champion, but Brawn is understood to be unwilling to play ball.

A move to McLaren-Mercedes alongside compatriot and title-winning predecessor Lewis Hamilton in 2010 has also been mooted, but the general perception is that the Frome-born ace will likely stay put – alongside, it is widely speculated, the highly-rated Nico Rosberg, who it is now known will no longer be at Williams next season.

“Once we've got Jenson sorted. We'll be announcing our whole package,” Brawn confirmed, “and we want to make an impact when we do that.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button [Pic credit: Brawn GP]
Sebastian Vettel drives the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi - Pic credit: Infiniti
Sebatian Vettel and David Coulthard at the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi - Pic credit: Infiniti
Sebastian Vettel drives the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi for the first time - Pic credit: Infiniti
24.08.2014- Race, Start of the race
24.08.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014- Race, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
24.08.2014- Race, Peter Sauber (SUI), Sauber F1 Team motorhome
24.08.2014- Race, Press conference, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
24.08.2014- Race, Celebration, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 race winner
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Celebration, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 race winner
24.08.2014- Race, Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Chequered flag for Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 race winner
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
24.08.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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.


BRITFAN - Unregistered

November 05, 2009 12:46 PM

Darn Politics. Just pay him a reasonable(?) salary and he will be happy. Kimi's 45m was not reasonable by anyones standards. 5-10 mill should suffice, for ANY driver!

gonen6t - Unregistered

November 05, 2009 1:49 PM

Is it just me, are does anyone else think Rosberg is way over-rated ? Not only did Rubens win this year, He was in the hunt for the title... Why would Brawn push off RB, for the unproven Rosberg?



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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