Monday February 14th, 2000
Formula One bosses have told British newcomer Jenson Button that he cannot race for BMW-Williams this season until he has passed the test for a superlicence.
FIA president Max Mosley said 20-year-old Button must complete 300 kilometres on two successive days of testing in a Formula One car before he can be granted the necessary permission to compete in Formula One.
Button must also receive the support of at least 18 members of the 26-man Formula One Commission before he can line up on the grid at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, in Melbourne on March 12.
"If nine or more members of the commission are against him he won't get it," Mosley told reporters in London. "But I don't imagine that will be the case.
"I don't know him. It may be that he will be successful. I don't think Frank Williams would have taken him unless they were quite confident that he could get the job done.
"The modern cars are suited to very young drivers with lots of computers and things like that, and, of course, he's driving for a very experienced team who will help him a lot."
Button is testing with the BMW-Williams team in South Africa at the Kyalami circuit but rain and fog has prevented him from completing the necessary distance in two days.
The team are due to travel back to England on Wednesday and have more tests scheduled at Jerez in Spain between February 23-25 and at Silverstone in England from February 29 to March 1.