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September 22, 2005 12:39 pm

Button stays on at BAR-Honda

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Jenson Button has set his sights on his first Formula One grand prix victory after winning his battle to stay with the BAR-Honda team next season. Button is believed to have paid between £10m and £20m to get out of a deal he had with Williams to race from the 2006 season.

Following protracted talks with Sir Frank Williams, Button has agreed to stay with BAR-Honda where he will be joined by Rubens Barrichello, currently driving for Ferrari.

Now that Button has his future decided, he goes into this weekend's Brazilian GP at Interlagos looking to give the team a race win. After the announcement was made that he would be staying at BAR, Button said: "I look forward to achieving our next goal - our first win together - in the very near future." Remaining with BAR represents a turnround for Button, who was forced to stay with his team after trying to get out of his contract to move to Williams. Faced with joining a Williams team without BMW engines in 2006, Button has opted to stay with BAR who have the full backing of Honda. He is understood to have agreed a five-year deal worth £10m a season.

Button, who was given his break in F1 at Williams but suffered barren times after joining Benetton-Renault, has had a turbulent 2005 season. After losing a legal battle which forced him to stay at BAR he had to sit out two races after the team were found guilty by race authorities in May of running an underweight car.

When Button announced he wanted to stay at BAR in July it began a protracted period of negotiations with Williams.

* Surrey stand on the brink of relegation from Division One of the Frizzell County Championship after being outplayed by Middlesex on the opening day of their match at The Oval.

On the day that Alan Butcher was appointed Surrey coach on a two-year contract - with immediate effect, thus leaving the outgoing Steve Rixon in limbo - the hosts conceded five batting points to Middlesex.

The visitors ran up 404 for five declared with Scott Styris making 100 not out and Ed Joyce 90. Surrey finished the day on 59 for two. Needing to win the game and take more bonus points than Middlesex to survive, Surrey took just one bowling point.

That left them with the task of scoring 400, while losing two wickets or less, to retain their Division One status - if they succeed Middlesex will be relegated instead.

At the Rose Bowl, John Crawley was unbeaten on 150 as Hampshire set their sights on the runners-up spot against new champions Nottinghamshire. There were also half centuries for Jimmy Adams, Simon Katich and Jono McLean as the home side reached 424 for four, giving them five of the 15 points they need to ensure second place.

Fourth-placed Kent suffered a nightmare start against Sussex, slipping to 169 for seven before recovering to post 257 all out having won the toss at Hove. Sussex also found the Hove surface tricky, limping to 47 for two by the close. Last season's champions Warwickshire also stuttered on the first day of their final match as they were bowled out for 208 by Gloucestershire at Edgbaston. Gloucestershire's reply was less than confident, however, as they staggered to 29 for three at stumps.

In Division Two, Lancashire remained on course for the title after dominating the opening day of their final match against Leicestershire at Old Trafford. Needing 11 points at the start to ensure they fought off Yorkshire's challenge to finish top of the table, Lancashire finished the day in pole position after enjoying contrasting fortunes to their Roses rivals. While Yorkshire failed to collect any batting points after being dismissed for 177 at Northampton, Lancashire bowled out Leicestershire for 165 to collect all three bowling points.

* The ball dominated the bat on the second day of the second Test between Zimbabwe and India in Harare, the hosts reaching the close 166 runs adrift after struggling to 39 for four in their second innings. India, who resumed on 195 for one, were all out for 366, with fast bowler Heath Streak completing career-best figures of six for 73.

Bangladesh faced their second successive innings defeat in the series after being reduced to 131-4 by Sri Lanka on the second day of the second and final Test at Colombo. Sri Lanka, who had earlier declared on 457-9, enforced the follow on after bowling out Bangladesh for 191 in 45.4 overs.

* Wayne Rooney will not be seen in Champions League action until November after the Manchester United striker decided to accept his surprise two-match ban. The England international was expecting to serve a one-game suspension after being red-carded in last week's draw with Villarreal for sarcastically clapping referee Kim Milton Nielsen right under the Danish official's nose. But Rooney learnt yesterday that Uefa had doubled the punishment in response to the player's four-letter tirade before he left the pitch.

* Scottish referees hinted that they may go on strike if assaults on officials continued to be treated lightly. Celtic midfielder Neil Lennon was given a three-game ban for barging referee Stuart Dougal and pushing a linesman after he had been shown a red card during Celtic's 3-1 loss to Rangers in August. Lennon was ruled out of last night's League Cup match against Falkirk and will miss Premier League matches against Inverness and Livingston. The Scottish Senior Referees Association said they were disappointed with the suspension and were asking match officials for their reaction. "In the wake of recent developments relating to the safety of match officials during games, we are currently canvassing the opinion of our members. Feedback we will receive will allow us to formulate our next steps."

* The National Lottery has already raised £2m of the £750m targeted for the London Olympic Games in 2012. The figure was revealed on Wednesday as a second edition of the "Go For Gold" scratch card game was launched at the British Museum in London.

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