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Jenson Button forced to sue Brawn for chassis

ESPNF1 Staff
June 21, 2010 « Teams to copy Red Bull exhaust | »
Jenson Button is owed a chassis of his 2009 winning car © Sutton Images

Jenson Button had to file legal action to ensure his former team handed over his prize for winning the 2009 world championship, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Button agreed to lower his salary after the Brawn takeover of Honda with a clause added to his contract that he could keep a chassis of his car if he won the championship. The clause read: "In the event that the driver wins the championship at any time during the term, the company shall transfer ... ownership of one chassis of the type driven by the driver during that winning season."

The case has come to light because Button's company JB Next BV filed legal action in London's High Court in April against the Brawn. According to the Mail on Sunday report, the team refused to hand over a 2009 Brawn car to Button because there were not enough of the chassis remaining.

It is believed that six BGP001 cars were made, but an email to Button from Mercedes in January reads: "We have no spare 2009 chassis as limited quantities were manufactured for the 2009 season for cost reasons."

Mercedes then reportedly offered to build a replica of the BGP001 car, but Button said it would lack the "special and unique" value of owning one of the very cars he drove to the title.

In the face of legal action, Brawn ultimately decided to supply a 2009 Brawn car to the now McLaren driver. "We have arrived at an amicable resolution, and so there will no longer be any court action over this," Button's spokesman confirmed.