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Button would quit over team orders

Jenson Button has warned that he would walk away from F1 if he was subjected to team orders.
Jenson Button has admitted that he would be prepared to quit Formula One should the thorny issue of team orders be legalised by the governing body.

Speaking in the wake of last weekend's furore at the German Grand Prix, where Ferrari issued thinly-veiled instructions for leader Felipe Massa to move over for team-mate Fernando Alonso, who is better placed in the championship, Button insisted that he would have no interest in remaining in the top flight if he knew that the same could happen to him.

"I wouldn't be interested in racing in F1 if, from the first race, there is the possibility that you could be a number one driver or a number two driver," he told Reuters in Budapest, "What's the point? You're here to win, you're here to be the best, and you should have equal opportunity to the next guy that's sat alongside you in the same car.

"You've the same equipment - if he does a better job, he comes out on top and, if you do a better job, you come out on top. [Fighting your team-mate] is one of the biggest buzzes in F1, and fighting a world champion [such as McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton] is such a buzz for me, but, if I suddenly realised that he didn't have the same equipment as me, or I was being favoured, then I wouldn't be happy about that because I would think we'd all been cheated.

"He should also get every opportunity, otherwise it's not a drivers' sport any more, it is a complete and utter team sport. F1 is a team sport but, when you cross the finish line, you are the person that wins the drivers' championship. For me, if it wasn't down to the individual, I wouldn't be interested in racing any more."

Ferrari was fined $100,000 for its decision to hand Hockenheim victory to Alonso, and the matter was subsequently referred to World Motor Sport Council, suggesting that further sanctions could be on the cards. Button, meanwhile, expressed sympathy for Massa, who was robbed of a potential win on the anniversary of his horrific accident at last year's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"I remember Rubens last year getting very emotional [about possible favouritism as Brawn GP] at one point in the [2009] season, but he realised that was not the situation," the 30-year old Briton said, "Certain races didn't work out for him, as they didn't work out for me because of different strategies. It was pure luck. It wasn't anything to do with team orders.

"[Massa] drove a really good race and I think showed he is performing very well, so I feel sorry for [him]. He is getting so many questions about last weekend, when all he wants to do is get on and race and show what he can do. Hopefully, he will do that this weekend."

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jimmy - Unregistered

July 31, 2010 9:51 AM

Every team has team orders - hidden or public, it does not matter but they are there. You will never eradicate this. And things that cannot be judged clearly, should rather be allowed. F1 is too restricted, there is too much political bul***** and too little racing. Make some clear but simple rules and the rest let up on the teams.

Dee - Unregistered

July 31, 2010 9:27 AM

F1 isn't a team sport, otherwise they would give the Driver's Championship to both drivers rather than to just one. Button has the right of it, I think. Imagine a football championship only going to the striker with the most goals. If you're a defender, you might as well chuck it in and go home. As for team orders later in the season, that's different. If you can no longer win, you should try to help your team-mate. But if you're both still in with a chance, then the team should treat both drivers equally.

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