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F1 European GP: Williams hints at Button interest for F1 2017

Jenson Button could be targeted by Williams for the 2017 F1 season as Claire Williams reveals discussions with various drivers are underway.
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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by Ollie Barstow

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June 20, 2016 5:10 PM

JB is an excellent test driver and this year has proven he is extremely fast, as he has always been. Also, he is not prone to mistakes and he manages race conditions better than Massa, though I must admit he has improved over the years. Really, Button to Williams makes a lot of sense. He can command a high salary which the Team would have little difficulty paying, considering the sponsorship opportunities that would become available by having a British world champion in the squad. I suspect he is the target and that the "leak" is deliberate. And Jenson, if he cannot remain with McLaren, will return to a top team with Mercedes power. He will love that.


June 20, 2016 8:17 PM

richard: button drove for williams before and left frank in the lurch. if he goes back, it will be with cap in hand, and probably with a few quid in the cap....
Richard, Jenson was loaned out by the Williams team to Benneton/Renault as they had signed Montoya to replace him. He didn't leave the team. After his two year loan period he wasn't renewed by either Williams or Renault and instead joined BAR. He then tried to rejoin Williams after bad advice from his manager about his contract but was forced to stay with BAR. He would be great for the outfit and bring much better speed and consistency to the squad than Massa offers, and would probably show up the overrated Bottas too

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