Mike Stevens | Jun 22, 2010

Jenson Button had to file legal action before his former team handed over his prize for winning the 2009 world championship.

When the 30-year-old agreed to lower his salary amid the Honda/Brawn management takeover, a clause was added to his contract.

It read: "In the event that the driver wins the championship at any time during the term, the company shall transfer ... ownership of one chassis of the type driven by the driver during that winning season."

The clause has come to light because Button's company JB Next BV filed legal action in London's High Court in April against the Brackley based team.

According to a report in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, the team - now owned by Mercedes - refused to hand over a 2009 Brawn car to Button.

It is believed that six BGP001 cars were made, but an email to Button from Mercedes in January reads: "We have no spare 2009 chassis as limited quantities were manufactured for the 2009 season for cost reasons."

Mercedes reportedly offered to build a replica of the BGP001 car, but Button said it would lack the "special and unique" value of owning one of the very cars he drove to the title.

The newspaper said the team has ultimately decided to supply a 2009 Brawn car to the now McLaren driver.

"We have arrived at an amicable resolution, and so there will no longer be any court action over this," Button's spokesman confirmed.

(GMM)

 

Webber Did Not Press Overtake Button: Report

Even three full weeks and a grand prix after the Red Bull teammates' crash, details of the Turkish incident are still leaking out.

With controversy and intrigue having surrounded their crash whilst leading May's Istanbul race, the latest tidbit is revealed by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The report claims that although Sebastian Vettel was roundly criticised for jinking to the right before contacting the sister RB6, Mark Webber could have followed the advice of his race engineer and perhaps avoided the incident altogether.

It recently emerged that engineer Ciaron Pilbeam radioed Webber on the lap of the crash to tell the Australian that, although his engine was turned down, he could "use your overtake button for a boost on the straight" to repel an attack from Vettel.

Even when in a fuel-saving engine mode, the button temporarily delivers the full 18,000rpm of power.

But Auto Motor und Sport reports that Webber did not know whether he should press the button just once, or for the duration of the power boost, with the "confusion in the cockpit certainly not helping the situation (with Vettel) at 310kph".

(GMM)

 

Now McLaren, Mercedes And Renault To Copy Red Bull Exhausts

Mercedes, McLaren and Renault look set to become the next formula one teams to emulate the unique exhaust layout of Red Bull's 2010 car design.

With the RB6 proving the most consistently competitive chassis of the 2010 season so far, it has emerged that Ferrari's Valencia-spec upgrade features low-mounted engine exhausts.

Rival engineers believe the layout, pioneered by Adrian Newey, allows air to be channelled more efficiently into the downforce-producing double diffuser.

The benefit, with also the fast-moving exhaust fumes channelled through the diffuser, is believed to be up to half a second per lap.

"We have a reasonably big upgrade that we are fighting to have for Silverstone, and if that is there then I would be disappointed if it is not a much bigger step than that," said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

And on the Auto Plus blog of the respected French journalist and commentator, Jean-Louis Moncet said Mercedes' W01 car will also be modified for the new exhaust philosophy by the time of the British grand prix in July.

It is believed that, while the new Mercedes might even be ready for the streets of Valencia this weekend, a similar upgrade by Renault is also in the works.

Mercedes GP chief executive Nick Fry admitted that the Brackley based team is focusing on improving its F-duct system as well as implementing "the special exhaust system" seen on the Red Bull.

"If we can get both of those things on the car then we'll be in a lot better position," he said.

Team boss Ross Brawn has also admitted that "aspects" of Red Bull's RB6 car will appear elsewhere in pitlane "over the next races".

"For instance, I know that everyone is looking with interest at their exhaust system," he confirmed.

(GMM)

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