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Button buys his way out of Williams 21 Sep 2005

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, 3 September 2005

Williams confirmed on Wednesday that they have agreed a financial settlement with Jenson Button to release him from his contractual commitment to the team for 2006 and beyond.

Button, who began his Formula One career with Williams, has spent the last few months looking to find his way out of a contract with them for next season, so that he can remain with current team BAR.

“I would like to thank Frank (Williams) for accommodating a compromise to what was a binding contract and I regret the difficulties my decision has caused everyone involved,” said Button, who will now pair up with Rubens Barrichello at BAR for 2006.

Commenting on the agreement, Frank Williams said, “I am glad that we have brought this matter to a conclusion and we can return to what we do best - racing.”

The conclusion of the dispute means that Williams now have a race seat to fill for next season, after the announcement of Nick Heidfeld’s departure for BMW. It also means uncertainty over the Formula One future of Button’s current team mate, Takuma Sato. The Japanese driver is now in negotiations with BAR.