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Button would quit if team orders given OK

NEWS STORY
30/07/2010

McLaren driver Jenson Button has said that he would quit the sport should the FIA remove the current ban on team orders.

The incident which saw Felipe Massa roll over for teammate Fernando Alonso in Germany continues to overshadow the sport, and while many are calling for team orders to be given the green light by the FIA, Button has vowed to quit the sport were that to be the case.

"I wouldn't be interested in racing in F1 if, from the first race, there is the possibility that you could be a number one driver or a number two driver. What's the point?" he told Reuters.

"You're here to win," he continued, "you're here to be the best, and you should have equal opportunity to the next guy that's sat alongside you in the same car. He should also get every opportunity otherwise it's not a drivers' sport any more, it is a complete and utter team sport. Formula One is a team sport, but when you cross the finish line you are the person that wins the drivers' championship. For me, if it wasn't down to the individual, I wouldn't be interested in racing any more."

Of course, the butter wouldn't melt in our mouths attitude of certain teams, some fans and F1 insiders insist that McLaren has already used team orders this year, citing the incident during the Turkish Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton was assured that when he eased off in order to save fuel he would not come under threat from his teammate (Button) who wasn't far behind.

Button, who won the 2009 championship with 6 wins to teammate Rubens Barrichello's 2, insists that while he wouldn't want to play second fiddle nor would he want to given preferential treatment over a teammate.

"You've the same equipment, and if he does a better job he comes out on top, and if you do a better job you come out on top," said the Englishman. "That's one of the biggest buzzes in F1, fighting your team mate and fighting a world champion is such a buzz for me.

"If I suddenly realised that he didn't have the same equipment as me, or I was being favoured, then I wouldn't be happy about that because I would think we'd all been cheated."

"I remember Rubens last year getting very emotional at one point in the season, but he realised that was not the situation," he continued. "Certain races didn't work out for him, as they didn't work out for me because of different strategies. It was pure luck. It wasn't anything to do with team orders."

Referring specifically to Massa, Button said: "He drove a really good race and I think showed he is performing very well, so I feel sorry for Felipe. He is getting so many questions about last weekend, when all he wants to do is get on and race and show what he can do, and hopefully he will do that this weekend. Hopefully he won't be too quick."

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