The tables may have been turned on Jenson Button in his perceived strategy of attempting to pressurize Brawn-Mercedes into increasing his salary after the team allegedly briefed the press that his demands have already been met.
In a highly incendiary report that implies that a sizeable rift has developed between Button's camp and the team with which he sealed the World Championship just four weeks ago, The Times reports that 'senior managers at the team are tiring of what they view as inaccurate and misleading briefings about the level of salary that Button has been offered to stay with a team with whom he captured this year's World Championship.
'Button is reported to have demanded £8 million for 2010; The Times understands he has been offered exactly that.'
As if that wasn't sufficient stirring, the newspaper goes on to repeat:
'Button's camp has claimed that he has been offered a salary of £4 million for 2010, a rise of only £1 million from his remuneration this year, when he took a voluntary £5 million pay cut to help the team after the buyout.
'However, it was suggested yesterday by authoritative sources that Button has been offered the full £8 million and is trying to get more. Brawn managers are irritated that the new world champion seems to believe the advent of Mercedes means money is no object.'
Though Button's camp have yet to respond to the allegation, they have strenuously repeated from the start of contract talks that their intention was to negotiate a salary that they deemed 'reasonable' and reflected Button's newly-achieved status of World Champion. "We are not asking for anything outrageous," Richard Goddard, Button's manager, stressed to the Daily Express last week.
For their part, Brawn-Mercedes have repeated their assurance that they want Button to stay - but insisted on Monday that the amount of money on offer will not increase following Mercedes' buy-out.
We've had discussions with Jenson over what we think is a sensible salary and this deal is not going to change anything in that respect," said chief executive Nick Fry.
"I hope Jenson will be with us, as we've been together for a good few years, but F1 is not divorced from the rest of the world. The reason we've survived as a team is that we have operated within our means."
[Source][Massa: F60 return felt like a race win] [Ecclestone unable to conclude new team deal] [Daimler figure critical of Brawn buyout]
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