Jenson Button and Toro Rosso did not have talks about teaming up in 2009, Franz Tost insisted on Monday.

Jenson Button and Toro Rosso did not have talks about teaming up in 2009, Franz Tost insisted on Monday.

While a spokesman for 29-year-old Button said other options existed following the withdrawal of the carmaker Honda, Toro Rosso chief Tost denied speculation that one of them was a move to replace Sebastian Vettel.

"To be honest, Jenson was never a choice for us," said Tost, despite the fact that confirmation of Sebastien Bourdais' contract was announced only recently.

"As far as I know Jenson Button has an agreement with Honda and therefore there was never any negotiations with Jenson Button or his management," the Austrian added.

Briton Button, an impressive fourth quickest in the new Brawn GP car as all teams began testing at Barcelona, seemed to confirm Tost's comments by admitting that his "plan B" for 2009 was to "not race" this year.

He has accepted a more than 50 per cent cut to his contracted retainer, with Ross Brawn's team to survive fundamentally on money provided by the departed Honda.

Button said he is relieved the team has not folded.

"What would I do sat at home? There's nothing out there for me at the moment. In five or six years, if this sort of thing happened, then I might walk away and look to do something else. But that's not my aim at the moment," he said.

Also attending Brawn's maiden test on Monday was Brawn himself, Button's father John and teammate Rubens Barrichello.

 

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