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Button reaffirms team order quit threat

NEWS STORY
10/09/2010

Jenson Button has reaffirmed his previous threat that he would quit F1 should team orders be given the all-clear.

As one might expect, the team orders row dominates proceedings at Monza, be it in the grandstands, garages, media room or paddock.

As the FIA mulls the idea of doing away with the ban on team orders - introduced in the wake of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix - the 2009 world champion, who said in the wake of this year's German GP that he wouldn't be interested in competing in a sport where one might be ordered to play a subservient role to a teammate.

"You're here to win," he told Reuters at that time. "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."

Yesterday, it was clear that this remains the Englishman's view. "It will definitely shorten my career in Formula One," he told Reuters.

"I don't understand it really. Since I've raced in Formula One, team orders haven't helped me or hindered me, "he continued. "It's not in this team's interests to have team orders because they want both drivers to be positive, and competitive, and to have a good relationship and for there to be a good atmosphere within the team. I don't know if it would ever happen, but if the regulation changes so you can have team orders then it will be very strange. It does change Formula One."

When asked outright if he would actually quit the sport, the Englishman replied: "I will be racing for the next year or so in F1, and I will enjoy it, but it does change your views of the sport a little bit if it ever happened. It's a very different way of going racing. If you look at German touring cars for example, they have two manufacturers and after the first three or four races it seems they all get behind one car.

"It would be a strange sport to be involved with if that's the case. I still hope it won't happen. If we want to see good racing then the way it is the best way. We shouldn't have team orders."

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