Barrichello gets two more years at Ferrari

As we predicted several weeks ago Rubens Barrichello has re-signed for Ferrari for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The contract is believed to be worth $12m a year. It means that Barrichello will not be in the running for a Williams-BMW drive when the drive becomes available at the end of the current season when Juan Pablo Montoya moves to McLaren. This leaves Williams with a somewhat limited choice of drivers although the team says it is in no hurry to do anything. Targets may include Jenson Button and Mark Webber but there are any number of contractual issues to be sorted out before any deals can happen. Button's future is dependent on the performance of his BAR-Honda in the early part of the year. If things go well the team will have no problem keeping hold of Jenson but if the plans go awry before the midseason Button can get out of his deal for 2005 because his contract has a performance clause in it. Webber is contracted to Jaguar but can go to Renault at any time and so if Williams want him the team will have to buy his contract from Flavio Briatore. That will be expensive.

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