Brawn to offer personal sponsorship to keep Button

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The Independent Online

Brawn have hinted they are likely to offer Formula One world champion Jenson Button more scope for personal sponsorship as part of any deal to keep him at the team next year.

"We can offer a higher proportion of driver freedom and that will probably be the route we will go," the Guardian website quoted team principal Ross Brawn as saying today.

"Jenson has some freedom for his own endorsements but has a commitment to meet our obligations."

Button, 29, has yet to sign a new contract with Brawn for next season but has said he wanted to stay with the newly crowned champions.

The Briton took a significant pay cut, around £5m according to some reports, to stay with Brawn this year after their predecessors Honda decided to pull out in December.

Although driver salaries are coming down as teams cut costs, Button wants his pay restored to something more appropriate to a world champion - likely to be in the region of £8m.

Brawn has said he was 99 per cent certain Button, who has also been linked to Mercedes-powered McLaren in what would be a line-up of British champions with Lewis Hamilton, would stay with his team.