JANUARY 4, 2002

Button to get new management

Jenson Button has decided to end his relationship with his management team.

JENSON BUTTON has decided to end his relationship with his management team. David Robertson and former racer Harald Huysman helped Button through Formula Ford and into Formula 3. Their contacts in F1 enabled Button to be introduced to Sir Frank Williams and he was convinced (by others) that Button was worth testing. Williams took a chance and was so impressed that he signed up Jenson on a five-year contract. Button did a remarkable job with Williams in 2000 but the arrival of Juan Pablo Montoya meant that the Englishman had to move to Benetton last year. This cannot be blamed on the management although there is a strong case that at times the advice given to Button was not the best for him.

It remains to be seen what will happen next but for the moment Button does not need much management. His father John is a seasoned racing professional and has sufficient connections in the business to make things happen and Williams is, of course, still keen to keep Jenson under contract in case he is needed in 2003 and 2004.

Button is doing much better at Benetton than many give him credit for and is doing so despite the ham-fisted attempts by team boss Flavio Briatore to put him under pressure. Briatore may want to replace him (the Italian manages Benetton test driver Fernando Alonso) but he knows that he cannot shift Button unless Jenson wants to move elsewhere.