Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has revealed she is in discussions with a number of drivers over potential race deals for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship season, admitting Jenson Button could be a primary target
The Grove-based team has retained the same driver line-up of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for the past three seasons, but while Williams has an option to retain podium winner Bottas, out-of-contract Massa's seat is considered to be under threat.
Indeed, though Williams says she is happy with Bottas and Massa's performances this year, she reveals talks have opened with other drivers for 2017 too.
“We are talking to them [Valtteri and Felipe] and we are having other conversations with other drivers in the paddock to see what other opportunities there are," she told Sky Sports F1
"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."
Of these drivers, Button is expected to be an option Williams made an offer for him last year before he chose to re-sign with McLaren. However, with Button's place in the team under increasing pressure from highly-rated reserve Stoffel Vandoorne, a move to the Williams team he made his F1 debut with back in 2000 may now seem a more tempting option.
'Button back at Williams' is a great headline,” continued Williams. “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.
"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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