JULY 22, 2002
Button goes to BAR
IT has been confirmed that Jenson Button will join British American Racing next season. The news was announced at a press conference in London's West End late on Monday afternoon.
The announcement means that the focus on the F1 driver market will now move on from BAR (although the talks between Jacques Villeneuve and the team could still end in the departure of the Canadian) with the next teams in the hierarchy coming into the spotlight. The speculation is likely to center on Sauber where it is yet to be confirmed that Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa will be staying next year. Massa's recent performances have caused some annoyance within the team and there has been speculation that the Brazilian youngster might be replaced.
The obvious candidate to fit with Peter Sauber's philosophy would be Mark Webber but the Australian driver is going to be too big to be able to fit into the current Sauber chassis, which was built around the pint-sized Heidfeld and Massa. The team tried to get Jos Verstappen into the car earlier this year but failed and Webber is bigger than the Dutchman.
There is also likely to be speculation about Toyota with the latest whispers saying that Cristiano da Matta is the favorite in Japan and Heinz-Harald Frentzen the favorite in Europe.
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