Button: Spat with Villeneuve is history


MONACO: Briton Jenson Button says his early season feud with Canadian BAR teammate Jacques Villeneuve is now history. 

“I think we said a few things that were a bit pathetic really but had to be said,” the 23-year-old Briton told a news conference before Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, the social highlight of the motor racing calendar. 

“But we’re working pretty well together now. We’re both very competitive.” 

Button and 1997 world champion Villeneuve were barely talking during the first few races of the season, with the Briton arriving at the team as the face of the future in contrast to the Canadian’s uncertain status. 

While Villeneuve said that his new teammate would have to earn his respect, Button fumed after being kept waiting at a bungled pitstop in Australia when both men pitted at the same time. 

They traded barbs through the media, with Villeneuve suggesting Button was mentally weak and the Briton judging his comments to be pathetic. 

Button has since got down to the task in hand, outqualifying Villeneuve four times in six starts and scoring eight points to the Canadian’s three. In Austria two weeks ago, he finished fourth to equal his career best result. 

Asked in Monaco whether he felt he had now answered his team mate’s criticism, Button replied: “I don’t really care. I really am not interested in answering that but we are working well together.” 

“I think the car’s been reasonably competitive for the whole season, we just haven’t really got the results,” he said. 

“It’s a good position for us to be finishing in at the moment, we’re not a top team at the moment.” 

BAR team boss David Richards, happy to let his drivers’ rivalry run its course, said at the last race in Austria that the friction was now under control. – Reuters  

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