AUGUST 3, 2000
Button announcement for Benetton is imminent
JENSON BUTTON will definitely switch to the Benetton Playlife F1 team for 2001 - and enjoy at least the first year of its metamorphosis into the fully blown Renault F1 squad in 2002 - in a deal to be announced in the next fortnight.
CART Champion Juan Montoya is on the fast track to take over Button's vacated Williams-BMW drive - and Flavio Briatore is champing at the bit to officially confirm his signing of the 20-year old who finished fourth in the German Grand Prix.
However, it's understood that the only short-term sticking point is CART team chief Chip Ganassi's need to have Montoya's replacement agreed and in place before any announcements "down the line" are made.
Frank Williams has been playing things cool over the past few weeks, insisting that he will let Jenson know his position as soon as possible. In fact, they all know that the Benetton deal is in place and that it is good manners and consideration towards Ganassi which is obliging them not to show their hand. Expect an announcement within two weeks.
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