After months of quiet lawsuits, Jenson Button and Mercedes GP have reached an agreement that, apparently, was part of Jenson’s contract with Brawn GP: If he won the 2009 drivers championship, he got one of the Brawn F1 cars as a memento.
That car, one of six produced, is valued around 1 million pounds. Nice severance!
The Daily Mail, Formula 1’s premier source of valued information*, has the fun-filled information:
Jenson Button sued Mercedes after they refused to give him the car he drove to victory as a gift.
Button says his team, Brawn GP, which was later bought out by Mercedes, wrote into his contract that he would receive a Brawn BGP 001 if he won the championship.
Sources close to Button, 30, say he wanted one of the cars, which he described as the best he had ever driven, as a â€˜mementoâ€™ of his triumph last October.
â€˜Last yearâ€™s victory was a culmination of his lifeâ€™s work, and to have one of the models he drove to win was going to be the icing on the cake for him,â€™ a source said last night.
At least six Brawn BGP 001 cars were made for Button and his team-mate Rubens Barrichello by Honda Racing, which was bought out by Brawn last year.
The carbon-fibre vehicles are believed to have cost more than Â£1million each to build.
Just days later, Button left to join Vodafone McLaren Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton. And in April, he launched legal action against Mercedes at the High Court in London.
According to the writ submitted by Buttonâ€™s company JB Next BV, his contract with Brawn read: â€˜In the event that the Driver wins the Driver Championship at any time during the term, the Company shall transfer…ownership of one chassis [car] of the type driven by the driver during that winning season.â€™
The writ also quotes an email from Mercedes in January, which said: â€˜We have no spare 2009 chassis as limited quantities were manufactured for the 2009 season for cost reasons.
‘We can therefore arrange for a chassis of the type driven by Jenson during the 2009 season in line with the terms of the contract to be manufactured during the factory shutdown in July as we currently are busy working on the 2010 car.â€™
But Button said a replica would lack the â€˜special and uniqueâ€™ value of one of the vehicles he used to win the championship.
The writ only became public last week. However, The Mail on Sunday can now reveal that the two sides have reached a deal after frantic negotiations.
Buttonâ€™s spokesman said that he will receive a 2009 Brawn BGP 001 from Mercedes. â€˜We have arrived at an amicable resolution, and so there will no longer be any court action over this,â€™ he added.
Where do you suppose you store something like that?
But, in perhaps more disturbing news, there is this final bit from the Mail:
Button recently split from Jessica Michibata, a Japanese lingerie model, after 18 months together. His previous conquests include model Florence Brudenell-Bruce and ex-Fame Academy contestant Louise Griffiths, to whom he was engaged.
Grace! Get on the first available flight to the UK!
* Just kidding!