Buttongate ’05 in full swing

In an odd reverse re-run of 'Buttongate' 2004, English driver Jenson Button is the subject of another tug-of-war between BAR-Honda and Williams. This time, Frank Williams' team has the contractual high ground, while BAR claim that the 25-year-old wants to stay put.

Sir Frank said at Hockenheim that he 'fully expects' Button to slide into a blue and white racing suit for 2006. He denied that the loss of BMW engines would foul the deal.

Heating up the inter-team tussle, though, was BAR 'CEO' Nick Fry's Hockenheim revelation that Jenson 'wants to stay' at the Honda powered camp. Fry said whether or not Williams has a valid contract is not ''the point. I would not want any of my employees,'' he explained, ''in the team if he didn't want to be.''

The BAR boss called '05 'Buttongate' 'a bit of a mess.' One suggestion is that Williams will sell JB's 2006 contract to BAR in a move that would part-finance its expected Cosworth V8 engine deal.

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