Brawn GP has repeatedly indicated that new World Champion Jenson Button's return to the team in 2010 was merely a formality in finalizing contract details, but two weeks after the end of the season, the two sides remain divided over money, according to British media reports.
Button reportedly earned around $5m in salary at Brawn last year – a comparative bargain for a top-line F1 driver. His management team has been asking for a raise to between $10m and $13m, depending on contract options, and Brawn has been unwilling to agree to that. Team boss Ross Brawn indicated this week that a solution might be to offer “more freedom” to earn money through personal sponsorships next year, but the Briton's manager indicated that won't cut it to get a deal done.
“We are not asking for anything outrageous,” manager Richard Goddard told Britain's Express newspaper. “Just three months before Honda pulled out last November, Jenson signed a contract which would have given him a lot more money than we're looking for now.
"We recognize times have changed, but he is the World Champion now and the team has turned things around,” added Goddard.
If matters between Button and Brawn cannot be resolved, the World Champion's only other F1 option would appear to be McLaren, which is involved in protracted negotiations of its own with ex-Ferrari man Kimi Raikkonen.