Williams: Button can be "sparring partner" to move F1 team forward

Williams is confident 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button can be a good “sparring partner” to help move the team forward in his new advisory role this year.

Williams: Button can be "sparring partner" to move F1 team forward

Williams announced in January that Button - who made his F1 debut with the team back in 2000 - would be taking up a senior advisor role ahead of the coming season.

It marked an official return for Button to F1 almost four years since his final start at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, with his attention since laying in sportscar racing.

Although Button has not yet been able to travel to meet the Williams team in the UK, team principal Simon Roberts explained how he will be contributing significantly at races once the season begins.

“Because of the COVID situation, Jenson hasn’t been able to get over here yet, but obviously we’ve been talking to him,” Roberts explained.

“He’s kind of supported us in many ways, just from an overall F1 business point of view and supporting the board and the senior management team.

“But once we get racing and he gets a little bit of time off, he’ll come and help. One of his ex-race engineers is with us, so there is a really good relationship.

“We’re really looking forward to getting him in the garage, getting him in some of the detail and just doing what he does best: talking to us, being a sounding board for ideas and sharing his experience.

 

“I’m sure the drivers will get to hear some good stuff from him and a few war stories along the way as well.”

Button is set to be on the ground with Williams at a number of races this year, supporting race drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, as well as the team’s junior academy members.

The appointment of Button was the latest step taken by Williams’ new owner, Dorilton Capital, since its takeover last August to bolster its management team.

As well as appointing Roberts as team principal on a permanent basis, Williams also drafted in ex-Volkswagen motorsport boss Jost Capito as its new CEO.

Capito echoed Roberts’ thoughts, believing Button will offer a big boost to the Williams squad this year.

“Simon and I worked with Jenson in the past, we developed a very good relationship with him and he became a friend of ours, really,” Capito said.

“It’s great to have him onboard. We were all supportive to the board to get Jenson in. I had a couple of phone calls and video calls with him already, and it’s great to have somebody of his calibre to share what we find.

“He’s very professional. He has been world champion, he has done different race series and he is an expert throughout racing.

“It is great to have a sparring partner like him, not only for me, for all of us.”

shares
comments

Related video

What to expect from F1 testing 2021
Previous article

What to expect from F1 testing 2021

Next article

Vettel: Fears only works teams can win F1 title "old school"

Vettel: Fears only works teams can win F1 title "old school"
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023