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Formula 1 News - March, 2009
Button had 'options' to leave Honda - spokesman

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Mar.9 (GMM) Jenson Button chose to drive for Brawn GP this season instead of exploring options of higher pay because he believes in the Brackley based team, a spokesman for the 29-year-old British driver insists.

The Independent newspaper claims Button, who gave the new Mercedes-powered BGP001 car its track debut at Silverstone last Friday, voluntarily forfeited "more than 50 per cent" of his contracted Honda retainer because the team's new guise can not afford to pay him that much.

With the English driver and his continuing teammate Rubens Barrichello now preparing for a four-day test at Barcelona, Button's spokesman insists other options for 2009 existed "in theory".

"But after pushing so hard to get Ross (Brawn) to join Honda, and then working so hard with him throughout a very difficult 2008, he (Button) was determined to show his solidarity with, and faith in, the team," his spokesman said.

"We had some other options in theory, but he told me that money isn't everything. There was no way he was going to do anything but drive that car.

"He didn't want to give up on a team he believes in so strongly," the spokesman added.

After a difficult two seasons with Benetton/Renault, Button headed to BAR/Honda in 2003 where he cemented his reputation as one of the sport's most highly paid drivers, achieving Honda's only race win of its recent foray in 2006.

Button and Barrichello's confirmation completes the 2009 race grid, with Brawn becoming the eighth team to retain the same lineup as in 2008.

Only Red Bull (replacing David Coulthard with Sebastian Vettel) and sister team Toro Rosso (replacing Vettel with Sebastien Buemi), are fielding tweaked lineups.

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