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BAR shocked by Button's defection 06 Aug 2004

David Richards (GBR) BAR Team Principal.
Australian Grand Prix Preparations, Rd 1, Albert Park, Australia, 4 March 2004

The BAR team is considering legal action to prevent Jenson Button leaving the team and taking up his drive for Williams next season according to reports in the British media.

"To be treated like this is dumbfounding," BAR team boss Dave Richards told 'The Times', "we're all utterly shaken... I have got 400 people in this factory who have worked their socks off night and day and then the guy who gets all the credit and drinks the champagne turns around and ditches them."

Button's move is the latest in a series of driver changes for next season, following last week's announcements that Ralf Schumacher will be driving for Toyota in 2005 and that Jaguar's Mark Webber will be replacing him at Williams. Giancarlo Fisichella has also confirmed that he will be moving from Sauber to Renault, and Jarno Trulli is expected to make an announcement as to where he will be driving next year in the imminent future.

But it is Button's move that is causing the biggest shock-waves through the sport.

"We believe that we can make Jenson Button a World Champion," Dave Richards continued, "and we, with Honda, have proved this year that we are going in the right direction - and we thought we were all going together. Perhaps Jenson has been led in another direction - down the garden path. I can only hope that I can talk to him and make sense of what is going on."