Button Risked 2009 F1 Seat for Ross Brawn

Jenson Button had plenty of offers to join other teams during the off season, but instead chose to risk one year of his professional career to stay on board and try to rescue the could-have-become-defunct Honda Racing from bankruptcy. His spokesman confirmed that Button's will to continue with Brawn GP was influenced by Ross Brawn's commitment to save the team.

“After pushing so hard to get Ross (Brawn) to join Honda, and then working so hard with him throughout a very difficult 2008, he (Button) was determined to show his solidarity with, and faith in, the team. We had some other options in theory, but he told me that money isn't everything. There was no way he was going to do anything but drive that car. He didn't want to give up on a team he believes in so strongly,” said the spokesman.

It was recently unveiled by British newspaper The Independent that Button has committed to a 50% cut in paycheck for 2009, as the new team would have a really hard time paying his entire salary without a single sponsor to back their efforts this year. Following the management buyout from Honda, Brawn GP will more than likely benefit from the smallest budget from all 10 teams in 2009.

Recent reports in the French media suggested that Ross Brawn is likely to land a title-sponsorship deal with Austrian sports betting company Bwin. The news was not, however, confirmed by any of the two organizations. Brawn's last attempt to secure sponsorship for team's 2009 campaign from Emirates airline company hit the brick-wall in late February.

It goes without saying that Button's other “theoretical” choice for an F1 seat was Toro Rosso. The Faenza-based team were the only outfit in F1 to wait until after Christmas to unveil their 2009 lineup, with Sebastien Bourdais being confirmed as 2nd driver in early February. That information, however, was not included in the spokesman's latest “unveilings”.
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