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Personal sponsorship deal could keep Button at Brawn

NEWS STORY
11/11/2009

Ross Brawn has said that one way of keeping Jenson Button at Brawn in 2010 would be to allow the Briton to 'top'-up' his salary with personal sponsorship deals.

In staying with Brawn in 2009 - following the withdrawal of Honda - Button took a pay cut of around £5m. However, with the 2009 title under his belt the 29-year-old is looking for a salary worthy of the achievement, with reports that he is seeking at least £7m.

With the Brackley outfit yet to confirm its sponsorship arrangements for 2010, and despite continued speculation that Mercedes is to buy a large slice of the team, Ross Brawn has said that one way of reaching a compromise with Button might be to allow the driver to arrange his own sponsorship deals, though these would need to be acceptable to the team.

"We can offer a higher proportion of driver freedom and that will probably be the route we will go," Brawn told the Guardian. "Jenson has some freedom for his own endorsements but has a commitment to meet our obligations."

As part of the drive to bring down costs, drivers' salaries are under close scrutiny, and while the title gives Button a certain degree of bargaining power there are only a couple of teams in a position to meet his demands.

Other than Brawn, the Englishman is still being linked with McLaren with some F1 insiders claiming that one of the attractions of having the 2009 champion on board at Woking would be to send a message to Anthony Hamilton, who, according to some, continues to ruffle feathers.

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