Yes, one unit of last year’s championship winning car was owed to Jenson Button and he finally got what was promised after taking legal action against former team Brawn GP, which is now Mercedes GP.
How did this come about? Apparently, Button took a big pay cut when Honda left F1 but added a clause in his contract that will see him keep the chassis of his car if he won the 2009 Championship. “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,” read the clause. Of course, that scenario didn’t seem to be very possible when the season started, but we all know what happened after a few races.
Reports say that the reason Mercedes GP couldn’t hand over the prize was because of chassis shortages. Mercedes offered to build a replica of the BGP001 car, but the Brit refused saying that it lacked the “special and unique” value of the cars he actually drove to the title. It is believed that six BGP001 cars were made.
Facing court action, Mercedes GP reluctantly gave in and gave the car to Button. “We have arrived at an amicable resolution, and so there will no longer be any court action over this,” the driver’s spokesman confirmed.