BAR have bought Jenson Button out of his 2006 Williams contract for an undisclosed sum and signed him to a mutli-year contract worth Â£10m according to Autosport (subscription required).
The news has immediate and dramatic ramifications for the 2006 driver market:
- BAR have one of the strongest line-ups for 2006 with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello
- Takuma Sato is almost certainly out of Formula One
- Williams will search for a second driver to partner Mark Webber, with Nick Heidfeld to join BMW (formerly Sauber). Antonio Pizzonia, Nico Rosberg and potentially Anthony Davidson are expected to be in the running.
Although Davidson has not been formally linked with the team, his British nationality could prove a useful means for Williams to keep the sponsors who had originally been enticed by the prospect of Button driving for the team.