LONDON, ENGLAND (Reuters) - FORMULA One champion Jenson Button cannot expect to cash in from the Mercedes takeover of Brawn even though the team want him to stay, Brawn chief executive Nick Fry said on Monday.
'We've had discussions with Jenson which we think are a sensible salary and this is not going to change anything in that respect,' Nick Fry told BBC radio after the takeover was announced. 'I hope Jenson will be with us next season, we've worked together for a good few years now and succeeded in winning a world championship together.'
'We want Jenson to be with us but we have to recognise that Formula One is not divorced from the rest of the world. We work within a budget and if we spend the money in one area, we can't spend it in another.'
Britain's Button took a hefty pay cut to stay with the team this year and ensure their survival after former owners Honda pulled out in December 2008.
He now wants his pay restored to a level more fitting to a world champion, even though salaries are coming down throughout the sport, and has been talking to McLaren about joining compatriot Lewis Hamilton at that team.
Nico Rosberg also looks sure to join Mercedes as one of their drivers, with speculation that the team could have an all-German line-up with Nick Heidfeld available as his team mate now that BMW have left the sport.