BAR asks legal questions

Jenson Button, Canadian GP 2004

Jenson Button, Canadian GP 2004 

 © The Cahier Archive

British American Racing says that the dispute between Jenson Button and the team over the English driver's contract with Williams for 2005 and 2006 cannot go beyond the Contract Recognition Board. They argue that the Concorde Agreement signatories accept decisions made by the CRB and that there is a precedent in the 1999 case of Pedro Diniz versus Arrows in which the team tried to argue that the case should go to the High Court in London but was overruled. The BAR team does however accept that there can be legal actions related to compensation if the teams do not agree with the CRB decision.

The team has enlisted the help of sports lawyer Mark Gay, the leading expert in sports law in England and Gavin Kealey QC, a barrister who specializes in commercial law and international arbitration. This will guarantee that whatever happens the team is going to have a very painful legal bill.

The details of the dispute continue to leak out with the latest suggestion being that the dispute is based on the difference the terms "will" and "intend to" in the agreement between BAR and Honda. Button's option was dependent on Honda delivering BAR with competitive engines. Button's lawyers are believed to be arguing that intent is not the same as a straight commitment.

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