source : www.f1-live.com
Pat Symonds has refused to back his boss Flavio Briatore over claims Jenson Button is too slow to be a worthy world champion.
In responding to Renault chief Briatore's assertion this week that Button can be likened to a concrete bollard, championship leader Button hit back by revealing that the French team tried to hire him for 2009.
Symonds, Renault's director of engineering, confirmed the Briton's claim in conversation with the BBC in Shanghai.
"We talked to a lot of people though the winter; anyone who's available, we'll assess them," he said.
Symonds, who like Briatore worked alongside Button at Benetton/Renault in 2001 and 2002, made clear he does not agree with Briatore's current assessment of the Brawn driver.
"I personally think he's a damn good driver and I think he's showing it at the moment," the 55-year-old said.
"He hasn't been in the best cars in the last couple of years but he's showing what he can do now and good luck to him,” he added.