Brawn: Button not sacrificed for Schumi

World Champions Jenson Button and Ross Brawn at FIA Prize Giving Gala

Dec.24 (GMM) Ross Brawn has played down suggestions that new world champion Jenson Button was pushed out of the Mercedes GP team to make room in 2010 for Michael Schumacher.

When Button’s switch to McLaren was announced, it was believed the relationship breakdown with his team of the last seven years was due to a dispute about his retainer.

Many observers and experts questioned the wisdom of the Briton agreeing to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate, but the signing of Schumacher raises the possibility that there was in fact no room at the Brackley based team for Button.

“It overlaps, to be honest,” team boss Brawn said when asked if Button decided to leave or was effectively ousted.

“I have a loyalty to Jenson so I hoped to find a solution and when I saw that this would get difficult I started to talk to Michael, and things developed there,” he added in an interview with F1’s official website.

Schumacher, 41, revealed on Wednesday that he only began talking to Brawn at the end of November. Button’s McLaren deal was announced in the middle of that month.