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Williams won't wait on Button

NEWS STORY
02/08/2016

Claire Williams says she is not prepared to wait around for a decision on whether Jenson Button will (re)join her team.

As the Grove outfit sinks further into a slump, there is talk of reorganization not only in terms of backroom staff but the driver line-up, indeed it is believed that both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are likely to be dropped at season end.

For some time there has been talk that Jenson Button might return to the team with whom he made his F1 debut in 2000, and comments made by team boss Claire Williams suggests that this is more than just idle speculation.

At a time McLaren has made it clear that it has no intention of deciding on its 2017 driver line-up until much later in the year, Williams has said that her team cannot wait around for ever.

While Button still has the motivation, the choice between the two legendary British teams must be hard. On the one hand there is the team that brought him into the sport, admittedly going through a difficult phase, whilst on the other the last eighteen months of frustration at McLaren-Honda look like they might finally pay off.

Although he has a contract with McLaren for 2017, a despondent Fernando Alonso wants to see what the new rules package brings, whilst waiting in the wings in Stoffel Vandoorne.

However, whilst McLaren might have an embarrassment of riches in terms of its driver pool, Williams is running out of patience.

"We will own our driver line-up decision, and I am not sat here waiting for Ron Dennis to make his decision or for Jenson to make his," she told the Press Association.

"It is not about what other people are doing," she continued. "I am not going to be waiting around because that is just not the right mentality for a team like ours to have.

"It would be a great story," she admitted of Button's return to Grove, "but he has to make the right choice for him, and we have to make the right choice for the team.

"When I talk about the criteria that we are looking at, it is the talent in the cockpit, the intelligence to feed back to the engineers, and for us, as an independent team, the commercial factors are going to play a part in the decision-making process too. You can't have an unknown driver in your car. It is just not going to work."

Asked about Sergio Perez, who insists he has not yet committed himself to Force India for 2017 despite Vijay Mallya's claims to the contrary, she said: "Sergio has done a great job this year, he is an intelligent driver, and of course he is going to be someone we are looking at.

"I have only met him briefly on the odd occasion. He is very charming. He is very eloquent, so commercially he would be strong for any team. Of course he is going to be someone you'd consider if he is available."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 05/08/2016 14:36

"Alonso & Rossi for Williams, Button & Vandoorne for McLaren, Massa & Bottas in endurance cars."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by edllorca, 03/08/2016 15:10

"What could possibly motivate him to go to Williams? Not money. Not a winning car. What's left?"

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3. Posted by Jonno, 02/08/2016 22:09

"nonickname - try getting the basic facts right. Claire Williams is the deputy team principal of Williams F1. Since she was promoted in March 2013, Williams have risen from 9th in the WCC to 3rd in 2014 & 15. They are currently 4th.
Not bad for a team that runs on a little more than the bonus Ferrari receives from FOM/CVC.


"

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4. Posted by nonickname, 02/08/2016 15:02

"I think that anyone signing for Williams is chasing the booby prize.Ever since Claire has taken over the team has gone into reverse gear and their incompetence is speeding up.
Top teams next year will be Mercedes,Red Bull and Mclaren closely followed by Ferrari"

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5. Posted by jackois, 02/08/2016 14:25

"Were I McLaren, I'd give him a new contract as soon as possible.

Currently, he's the best thing about the team. Fully committed each race & good in interviews. Alonso, '2 times world champion', as the commentators like to remind us, likes nothing better than to moan and is ready to park up the car at the drop of a hat.

Also, one good race for Vandoorne, doesn't make him a world champion.

Saying that, I'm sure Jenson would know where he stands with Williams..."

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6. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 02/08/2016 13:42

"Having had 2 years of frustration with Mclaren Honda, if he has a contract for 2017, is Jenson going to walk away just as the car and engine start to become competetive? if he has a choice, 1 more year at Mclaren seems the obvious choice. "

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