Williams: Button a possibility
Williams have confirmed they are in talks with a number of drivers over taking a seat next season whilst also refusing to rule Jenson Button out of the equation.
The 36-year-old was handed his first taste of Formula One by Williams back in 2000, where he became – at the time – the youngest driver to earn points in the brand after a sixth-placed finish in Brazil.
Button was close to rejoining the Grove outfit for the 2016 season before eventually agreeing a new deal with McLaren to partner Fernando Alonso. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa currently drive for the team, but with the latter’s deal set to expire at the end of the year, they are now exploring alternative options.
“We are talking to them and we are having other conversations with other drivers in the paddock to see what other opportunities there are,” deputy team principal Claire Williams told Sky Sports.
“But that’s not to say we aren’t happy with the job Valtteri and Felipe are doing. We have a great line-up, but no decision has been made. We just have to work through the conversations.”
2009 World Champion Button has been left in limbo over the past two seasons with McLaren over contract talks, twice signing a one-year deal at the last minute and negotiations over a new deal won’t start until September at the earliest.
Williams currently sit 4th in the Constructors’ Championship with 90 points and have been one of the most reliable teams in 2016 thus far, seeing just one retirement from their two drivers in the opening eight races.
Kimi Raikkonen’s situation at Ferrari has seen the 2007 World Champions also emerge as a target for Williams, who admit the romance behind a return for British driver Button makes it an extremely viable option.
“‘Button back at Williams’ is a great headline. He started his career here, he’s a world champion and extremely intelligent when it comes to building a team around him and helping the engineering side develop the car,” Williams added.
“Of course he is going to be an attractive proposition if he is available. But we are talking to a lot of drivers in the paddock at the moment – and he may or may not be on the list.”
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