Button: New Williams F1 owners "not afraid of change"

Jenson Button feels there is a "sense of optimism" at Williams after joining the team as a senior advisor, saying its new owners are "not afraid of change"

Button: New Williams F1 owners "not afraid of change"

Williams announced on Friday that 2009 F1 world champion Button would be taking up an advisory role with the team on a multi-year deal.

It marked a return to Williams for Button almost 21 years to the day since he was named as one of its drivers for the 2000 season, marking his F1 debut.

The move is the latest change at Williams following its takeover by American investment fund Dorilton Capital, which has installed a new senior management structure since acquiring the team in August.

The sale of the team came following a difficult period for Williams that has seen it slump to the foot of the constructors' championship in each of the past three seasons.

Button said that he felt Williams' new owners were not afraid of trying different approaches and changing some of the team's habits in a bid to turn its fortunes around.

"I think that they're not afraid of change," Button said in an interview on Sky Sports F1.

"In Formula 1, all of the teams have a set of things that they do, and the way that they work and the way they go about it. I think they're trying to change that, and they're trying to change the sport up a bit.

"They're not afraid to try new things, but the people who are running the team, they are very experienced. They have some great ideas, and there's definitely a good atmosphere in the team.

"This team has won multiple world championships. Obviously things change over time and people come and go, but the core of the team is still there. They're world champions, they've won multiple world championships.

"I look forward to working with them, and however much I can help, I will. It's one of those things that everyone needs to be pulling their weight. Everyone needs to give 100%.

"The team needs to be passionate, every single person that works there. It can't be just a job, it's got to be the passion and love for the sport, and that's the only way we're going to fight at the front again."

Analysis: What Button can offer Williams on his surprise F1 return

Button called time on his F1 career at the end of the 2016 season, but made a one-off return for McLaren at the Monaco Grand Prix the following year to deputise for Fernando Alonso.

Since then, Button has focused on racing in sportscars, winning the Super GT title in 2018, but has remained involved in F1 through his TV work for Sky.

But he felt the role with Williams was a fitting opportunity to return to the series in a more active and involved manner after five years away.

"This felt like the perfect moment to rejoin Williams, a team that gave me so many opportunities when I started my career in F1," Button said.

"They gave me the drive, they nurtured me through that year, and it really was a very special year for me. This feels like the right time to rejoin the team and I'm excited about working with them to help this team back to the front.

"There's a new sense of optimism. There's a lot of positive changes for the future. Things don't change overnight, but they're on the right trajectory at the moment.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It's a new challenge, one I'm definitely ready for."

shares
comments
From the archive: Button's last spell with Williams

Previous article

From the archive: Button's last spell with Williams

Next article

Red Bull's ultimatum on 2022 F1 engine freeze not "blackmail" - Marko

Red Bull's ultimatum on 2022 F1 engine freeze not "blackmail" - Marko
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Williams
Author Luke Smith
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021