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Button crashes out of Jerez test 18 Sep 2003

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 12 September 2003

Jenson Button will play no further part in BAR's testing programme at Jerez this week after crashing heavily on Thursday morning. Button suffered nothing worse than a bruised knee in the accident, but will travel home to rest ahead of next weekend's United States Grand Prix.

Button collided with the barriers at Turn four after losing control at around 270 kph. The force of the impact was such that the car sustained some damage to the chassis, necessitating its return to BAR's UK base for repair. Button, meanwhile, will head back to London where he will visit his own doctor as a precautionary measure.

"I was coming through turn four, which is quite a quick corner, and I put a wheel on the grass which caused the car to immediately snap out of control," explained the 23-year-old. "I went into the Armco barrier on the left-hand side which caused quite a lot of damage to the car. As it cannot be quickly repaired, I am unable to complete my final day of testing here.

"I have minor bruising to the inside of the knee and I think it is best to rest it, but I have already had it checked and everything is fine. It's a disappointing way to end the test but I am really looking forward to Indianapolis and I will be going back to the UK to prepare to fly out at the weekend."

BAR will complete their programme on Thursday and Friday with one car, driven by Jacques Villeneuve. The accident also means that the team's plan to test 2003 Formula 3000 champion Bjorn Wirdheim has been postponed until October.