Williams: Jenson Button a 'very attractive' option for 2017 F1 deal

Jenson Button is a "very attractive" option for the Williams Formula 1 team for 2017, according to its deputy team principal Claire Williams

Williams: Jenson Button a 'very attractive' option for 2017 F1 deal

Button is out of contract with McLaren at the end of this campaign, with the Woking-based outfit having said it will not look at drivers until at least September.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa's deals with Williams also expire at the end of this year, though the team is believed to have an option to retain Bottas.

Should 2009 world champion Button sign for Williams, it would mark a return to a team he began his F1 career with in 2000.

"It would be lovely [to have Button back at Williams]," Williams told Autosport. "The story is great.

"There are some great talents out there and Jenson is very attractive commercially as well.

"He is also an extremely intelligent driver from a variety of different angles so of course he is going to be up there for consideration.

"When I went to Silverstone and I was on the big stage, Tony Jardine who was the MC said to the crowd: 'Tell Claire how much you'd like to see Jenson back in a Williams'.

"The whole place erupted. It was extraordinary.

"We are still evaluating our options. You want to make sure you evaluate every area that you put weight on when you are choosing a driver, not just what they do on a Sunday afternoon but it's everything they bring to a team."

LAWRENCE BARRETTO: Why Button and Williams need each other

Williams technical director Pat Symonds echoed that viewpoint.

"Jenson would fit into the team well and we would serve him well," he told Autosport.

"But I have no idea what Jenson's salary is and that is an important part of the equation."

Williams anticipates making the decision on its driver line-up in "the next couple of months" with the team now down to a shortlist of options.

It is believed Williams favours keeping Bottas on for a fifth season, while alongside Button Autosport understands Force India's Sergio Perez and Sauber's Felipe Nasr - a former Williams tester - are two of the other drivers under consideration.

"You start off with a long list and you work down to a shortlist," Williams said. "We're on the shortlist at the moment and now it's just a case of choosing the two drivers.

"We wouldn't want to leave it any longer [than a couple of months to make a decision]. From a stability perspective, we want to know where we are all at.

"It's not a decision of a moment choosing who you are going to put in your cars as they are a big part of what we do.

"The top teams have made their selections so we now are the team everyone is looking at if you are drivers that haven't got a contract next year.

"We have options available to us and that's great, it's a wonderful position to be in and because we have those options, we need to make sure we make the right decisions."

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