Heidfeld to lose Williams ride

UPDATE Nick Heidfeld refuses to burn any bridges and talk about his future. "As I've said many times before, I'm not going to comment on that," he told Reuters after qualifying for his home grand prix, "I'm in a good situation compared to last year, and I don't have any concerns. I'm part of a very good team and very happy to be on it. Anything can happen. "For me, BMW-Williams is still one team, it should be treated like one team and it should keep functioning like one team so that we continue to improve." 07/06/05 Following the disaster that was Button-gate in 2004, which saw the Brackley outfit retain Button's services for 2005, it was common knowledge that a clause in his contract could see him return to WilliamsF1 – the team which brought him into F1 – for 2006.

Under the terms of his contract with BAR, should Button have failed to score 75% of the World Championship leader's points tally, by the end of July, WilliamsF1 would have first call on his services for 2006, no ifs or buts. Speaking to Alan Henry of The Guardian, Frank Williams has confirmed this.

"It's been well explained," said Williams. "If BAR meet the option, they must take him. If they fail, then he lands in our lap."

The current World Championship leader is Fernando Alonso, who has 69 points. Assuming the Spaniard doesn't add to this tally, Button, currently on 5 points, would need to score a further 46 points from 3 races. It's understood that, contrary to media speculation, Williams' engine deal for 2006, or lack of it, would have no bearing on Button's contract for next year. BAR-Talk

[Editor's Note: This means either Nick Heidfeld or Mark Webber will be out of a ride in 2006. Heidfeld was hired by Williams this year because he is German to appease German engine supplier BMW. With BMW out after this year, Heidfeld's job is in jeopardy. Too bad because he has outperformed Webber, much to the surprise of many.]

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