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Team orders could see Jenson Button quit

Jenson Button has reiterated his threat to walk away from Formula One should team orders again play a part in the sport as he has no desire to become a puppet.

The reigning champion's initial remark was aired in the days that followed the controversy that surrounded Ferrari and their manipulation of the result of the German Grand Prix on July 25.

Via coded radio messages Felipe Massa allowed team-mate Fernando Alonso to claim the lead, and ultimately the victory. Ferrari were fined 100,000 US dollars for implementing team orders.

On Wednesday the World Motor Sport Council found Ferrari guilty of breaking the rules but ambiguity allowed them to escape further punishment and now Formula One's Sporting Working Group are likely to scrap the rule.

That will allow teams to manufacture results as they see fit, and that is a sport Button does not want to be part of.

“It will definitely shorten my career in Formula One,” confirmed Button ahead of the Italian GP.

“Since I've raced in Formula One, team orders haven't helped or hindered me. I don't know if it will ever happen, but if the regulation changes so you can have team orders it will be very strange. It does change Formula One.

“We'll have to wait and see, but for me the drivers' championship is the drivers' championship.

“You obviously work as a team to challenge for the constructors', and I respect the fact that in the drivers' you are driving a car built by several hundred people.

“But it should be fair to both drivers in the team. They should both get equal opportunities.”

Button fears his relationship with team-mate Lewis Hamilton will suffer should the day ever arise when McLaren ask one to cede for the other.

“It's not in this team's interests to have team orders,” added the 30-year-old. “They want both drivers to be positive, competitive, to have a good relationship and for there to be a good atmosphere within the team.”

Button finished fifth in yesterday’s practice with Sebastian Vettel first ahead of Fernando Alonso and Filipe Massa. Hamilton finished just ahead of Button.

Belfast Telegraph

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