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OCTOBER 21, 2000

Button targets world championship battle in 2003

JENSON BUTTON has set his sights on battling for the Formula One World Championship in 2003 when he is expected to return to BMW-Williams from his two-year loan spell at Benetton.

Button, 20, will compete for Benetton for two seasons from 2001, but is contracted to BMW-Williams until 2005. The Briton believes by 2003 both he and the team will be ready to compete for the ultimate motor racing honor.

"In 2003, when I come back to Williams, I think I will have a fantastic opportunity to get good results and, hopefully, be fighting for the world championship," said Button.

"I have little doubt in the team's ability to be a front-runner and I am looking forward to being an integral part of that success over the long-term.

"It would be nice to battle for the drivers' championship next year, but I know that is unlikely to happen."

Button has impressed in his debut season in the sport, scoring 12 points and proving that he has the ability to compete at the highest level and against the best drivers.

He added: "It could take three years, it could take seven or eight, or it might never happen. But, if I am with a crack team, then hopefully it is not going to take too long."