Jenson Button will be blocked from doing any work for his new team McLaren before the end of the year by his current employer Brawn.
The Mercedes-Benz-owned team has Button under contract to the end of 2009, and although in similar cases squads have sometimes released departing drivers to their new teams early by mutual consent, his current employer has no intention of doing so. Button's current contract expires on Dec. 31, and although he will be free to work with McLaren once that date has passed, Brawn will be "rigorously enforcing" his contract until that time.
"Jenson will not be doing anything at all for McLaren until the end of this calendar year," Brawn chief executive officer Nick Fry told AUTOSPORT. "And if he does, we will be looking on it very dimly.
"He didn't have any obligations to us for 2010, but there are issues with regards to the signing process on which we are in discussion with him at the moment. There are clear constraints on what Jenson can do between now and the end of the year, which we will be rigorously enforcing."
Button signed a three-year contract with the defunct Honda team during the 2008 season that tied him to the team until 2011, but when the outfit was reformed as Brawn he signed a new deal for only the 2009 season.