Brawn to make Button big money offer
Brawn GP is ready to rewrite Jenson Button's three-year contract in a bid to see off attempts by rival teams to lure him away, this week's AUTOSPORT magazine reveals.
Button agreed to a substantial pay-cut, to continue with the team this year after signing a new contract with Honda worth in the region of $13 million a season shortly before the marque decided to quit Formula 1 last year.
Although he is committed to Brawn until the end of the 2011 season, team bosses are concerned that a big-money offer from a rival team could encourage the World Championship leader to activate exit options that are in his contract.
Team CEO Nick Fry admitted that discussions will be opened up with Button later in the season with a view to offering a compensation package that rewards his status as World Championship leader.
"He took voluntary a major reduction but he does have a contract for several years to come and we will discussing at some stage later this year what we do to make sure he is rewarded fairly," Fry told AUTOSPORT. "But it is not something we are discussing at the moment.
"These contracts are quite complicated but it is not something that is vexing us at the moment. He has done a great job and later in the year he will win more races and have a discussion."
How much the team is able to pay Button could depend on what commercial deals it is able to put together. But Fry is confident that the team has the resources not only to keep Button, but also to keep developing the Brawn BGP 001 that has won five out of six races this year.
"There is no issue whatsoever with funding through this year. Even if we didn't get another penny in sponsorship we are able to do what we need to do.
"We are using our money wisely, and that means spending money on the performance of the car and, for example, the whole team including Ross and I flying Easyjet."