We now know that Jenson Button is with McLaren and Brawn is now Mercedes and the two are not together. However, reports that have surfaced within the last 24 hours shows how ugly the situation really was. The feelings between the two bring back not so distant memories of Fernando Alonso and the McLaren team. While there are obviously differences in the two situations, the bottom line is the same.
Ross Brawn has stated that Jenson Button was in breach of his contract while visiting the Woking based team. At the time of the visit, talks were still going on between then Brawn and Jenson and a very generous money offer was presented to Jenson with some reports indicating eight million pounds in salary and another four million in points bonuses. This offer was reportedly taken off the table upon discovery the newly crowned champion was “in bed” with the enemy at their home station. I don’t personally know the details in the contract between Brawn and Button, but if Jenson’s contract was up then should he not be free to look at whatever team would care to have him? Further reports indicated that Mercedes buying out Brawn and putting together a German team together furthered the rift between the two parties. Granted we are all but certain that Nico Rosberg will be in one car, it is unknown at this time who will partner in the second car.
Regardless of what happened between the team and driver, Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry has had some rather pointed words at the champion and I tend to agree with what he is saying.
“We offered loyalty which we hoped, perhaps naïvely, he would return,” Fry told the Daily Mirror. “There is bravery and there is stupidity, and we will only find out which it is next year.” OUCH!!
To add fuel to the already out of control fire, Brawn has also stated that Button will not be released early and will serve out the rest of his contract which expires 31 December of this year. This will already put the defending champion in a serious disadvantage to that of Lewis Hamilton. Keep it at Opnepaddock.net for all of the offseason drama and driver movement…or lack there of in this case.