I can't keep finishing third, says Williams-bound Button

A month ago in Budapest, in the immediate aftermath of the surprise announcement of his intention to quit BAR Honda for BMW Williams in 2005, Jenson Button's two favourite words were "no'' and "comment''. Yesterday in a hastily convened press conference you could hardly shut him up.

"The first thing to say is sorry,'' he began. "I haven't been able to speak to anyone in the media for the past two weeks because I have an agreement with BAR not to do any press interviews.'' But after Williams yesterday officially lodged his new contract with the Contract Recognition Board in Geneva, as the first real step in the process of extracting him from the 2005 contract that the BAR team principal David Richards recently reconfirmed, it seemed an apposite moment for him to open up.

Financial and emotional contractual issues undoubtedly lie at the heart of a disagreement between Button and BAR that has been ongoing since the end of the 2003 season, but the 24-year-old Englishman is adamant that the real reason he wants to leave is to pursue his ambition of winning the world championship.

"I'm not rejoining Frank's team for emotional reasons, and they are definitely not a team that are stalled forever," he said. "They have a lot of fantastic people there and technically they are very strong. They know the reasons why they didn't make the best car this year.

"BAR are a very good team and the atmosphere there is very positive, but they do not have Williams' resources. They are a couple of years behind. I can't keep finishing third. I want to be the champion.''

But he said he was "deeply hurt'' by the knock his image has taken since his intended defection became public. "The contract issues got me quite annoyed. I feel let down and disappointed by the whole situation. If I wasn't performing, OK, but look at the results I've achieved this year. I don't think things have been handled perfectly and one thing I wish I had done was discuss it personally with Mr Ecclestone. That was a mistake.

"People think David Richards and I are close friends. We have a good relationship at the track, but not an 'all right mate!' sort of thing. Our contract issues have been tough and we have tried to resolve them. But they are just one of many things. I don't feel let down by the team, but I do feel let down by David.''

The Contract Recognition Board will meet in two or three weeks and a Williams spokesman said: "We anticipate a verdict five days after that.''

Certainly it is in Button's personal interests to go to Williams as soon as possible for winter testing before his team-mate Mark Webber gets his feet too far under the table with the engineers.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence