Team boss Ross Brawn has dropped a strong hint that Jenson Button can expect some sort of pay-rise before returning as world champion to the wheel of a Brawn car in 2010.

Team boss Ross Brawn has dropped a strong hint that Jenson Button can expect some sort of pay-rise before returning as world champion to the wheel of a Brawn car in 2010.

The two sides are currently at odds over the size of 29-year-old Button's retainer, after the British driver agreed to slash his contracted Honda fee from $13m to just $5m this year.

In an interview published by Italy's La Stampa, Brawn was asked whether he thinks Button - following the Honda withdrawal and the struggle to arrange a management buyout for a single symbolic pound - would have driven for no pay in 2009.

"He almost did: this year he agreed to take less than half (his contracted fee) because he risked being unemployed," Brawn is quoted as saying.

Given Brawn's admission that Button's 2009 retainer equated to "almost" driving for free, a pay-rise for 2010 is therefore very likely.

Britain's Daily Telegraph, however, paints a more complicated picture, with Button's morale portrayed as "low" over the issue, and the new world champion having received "offers from more than one grid rival".

 

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