Button ready for sacrifice

Williams was one of many who supported Button even before he arrived in the major league, and gave him his big break early in 2000 when the Englishman stepped up from Formula Three to Formula One. Twelve months ago he sought a release from a contract with BAR to race for Williams in 2005. Denied that by the Contracts Recognition Board, the 25-year-old is now seeking to break a contract with Williams-BMW for 2006 to stay at BAR.

"I suppose it is ironic," he said here yesterday. "But I need to be in the best position that I can be, with the best team. I've been in F1 six years and I haven't won a race. I want to win races and fight for the world championship, and I cannot afford three years to build up another team.

"To be strong in F1 you need a works engine. I only found out that Honda were so committed and were going to buy 45 per cent of the team after I had made my decision to go for Williams last year. It was a mistake to sign a contract so early, and I was a little misguided, but that's ultimately my responsibility."

Button admits that the mess he has found himself in for the second time in his as-yet unfulfilled career has left him feeling uncomfortable, but it remains to be seen whether he appreciates how tough an opponent Williams is. The 63 year-old team boss, who has never had a shred of self-pity after the car accident in 1986 that left him a quadriplegic, is not a man to back down.

Formula One yesterday welcomed back the former winner of three grands prix, Johnny Herbert. The 41-year-old was revealed as the new sporting relations manager of the Jordan-Toyota team.

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