Jenson Button has told his BAR bosses he wants to remain with them for next season - but Sir Frank Williams insists the Briton will be with his team for 2006.
Button underlined the future potential of his Honda-powered car by claiming his first podium of the season at yesterday's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
The 25-year-old clinched third place behind winner Fernando Alonso and runnerup Juan Pablo Montoya, who produced a storming drive after starting 20th on the grid in the wake of his qualifying shunt into a tyre wall.
Following a dismal start to the season for Button, due to mechanical problems and the disqualification of both cars at San Marino which led to a subsequent two-race ban, both he and the team are now back on track.
Button has scored points in each of the last three races, with yesterday's display easily his best this year, epitomised by his overtaking manoeuvre on seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher into the hairpin on lap 45.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Button wants to remain with a team again on the rise, rather than head to a Williams team seemingly going backwards.
But Williams have a contract with Button for next season, and it appears another row is poised to develop as it did last year when he tried to extricate himself from a deal he then had with BAR.
That went to the Contract Recognitions Board, an independent organisation who told him to honour his agreement with BAR, putting Williams on hold for another year.
"We do have an existing contract for Jenson for 2006, and we fully expect him to arrive at Williams at the due period of time," confirmed team owner Williams.
Button, though, has other ideas as team boss Nick Fry, when asked as to whether he had been given any indication from Button regarding the future, replied: "Yes, Jenson wants to stay here.
"But the ball is in Jenson's court to now sort it out with Williams. The person in the frame who needs to front this up is Jenson.
"I've no doubt Frank is correct in what he says. If he says there's a contract, then that's one thing, but I don't really think that's the issue.
"I certainly wouldn't want any employee, let alone a driver in my team, who didn't want to be here.
"The driver is the pivotal role in the team, and if they are not fully motivated and they don't want to be at a particular team, then they are not going to do anything to the best of their ability.
"You can't force people to do something they don't want to do."
Fry feels mistakes were made in the past when it came to the deals done between Button and the two teams, with the Frome driver paying the penalty as confusion is again set to reign.
"I attach no blame at all to Jenson on this," added Fry.
"His former management team got him into a bit of a mess, but Jenson has changed that team and what we are unfortunately left with now is clearing up a mess that was created in the past.
"While there is no absolute deadline on this, ideally I'd like it all resolved in the next three or four weeks. Clearly it's in the interests of everyone that we do this as quickly as possible."
Button's performance further underlined Fry's desire to keep him at BAR, with his third place coming on the back of a qualifying run that saw him line up on the front row of the grid for the second successive race.
"To get a podium here after such a tough season is a fantastic result and it can only mean better things for us for the rest of the year," insisted Button.
"We are moving forward every race and hopefully in two or three races' time we will be close enough to put the Renaults and McLarens under pressure.
"I don't know if that's possible, but that would be fantastic."
A hydraulics failure on Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren, at a time when he was coasting to victory, handed the win on a plate to Alonso who now has a 36-point cushion to the Finn.
Behind Montoya and Button, Giancarlo Fisichella won a battle with Michael Schumacher, claiming fourth with another hairpin move on the German on the penultimate lap.
Schumacher's brother Ralf in his Toyota, Red Bull Racing's David Coulthard and the Sauber of Felipe Massa completed the top eight placings.