Jenson Button, Williams, Monza, 2000

Button return would be ‘a great headline’ – Williams

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Claire Williams is open to bringing Jenson Button back to the team he made his F1 debut with 16 years ago.

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Start, GP2, Baku City Circuit, 2016
GP2 was eventful to say the least
After two crazy GP2 races in Baku, F1 produced a procession. Why?

I think what happened in GP2 spooked the drivers and teams and led to more cautious driving, in which nobody took any real risks. This plus DRS made for an underwhelming race, but

I am going to be optimistic and say Baku will produce better races. Valencia, Abu Dhabi, Sochi, these are tracks in which drivers can go full on and still stay in a stuck processional races, Baku seems different.
BT52B (@Eduardogigante)

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  • 72 comments on “Button return would be ‘a great headline’ – Williams”

    1. Can we take that as massa retiring then with Button replacement? Then a Vandoorne promotion!! :D

      Also that’s probably what caused the Baku gp to be so boring, a lack of toilets. Solve that and we will have a new legendary circuit next year.

      1. Surprisingly, Massa deserves that seat probably even more than Bottas IMHO.

        But anything to get Vandoorne into that McLaren is fine with me.

    2. How long ago did they start preparing the circuit? It was months ago. By the time they get it done it will be about half a year total. I understand that this is the first time they’ve done it, but it’s still a horrendously long amount of time. They can’t be doing that every year surely?

      I read somewhere that it takes Monaco 9 weeks from start to finish, which is definitely very long as it is.

      The GP2 race(s) made me laugh, it was so inevitably predictable that there would be a pileup. New track with almost no runoff, young racers, I think we all saw it coming.

      1. On the Sky coverage one of the commentators pointed out that the cobblestone old city section will be restored, all that new pavement will be ripped up. Rinse and repeat for next year.

        1. I would assume that’s only for that section though – I’d be surprised if they did that for the whole track.

          1. I hope so, I want to see some road markings next year. It’s a street track!

      2. Well for example in Singapore they start preparing 4 months in advance!

        Although they only take one month to clear everything so I suspect Baku will be similar once they optimise everything.

        1. In Singapore they do start that long in advance with preparations, but only a few weeks before the race it really interferes with the citizens (my brother lives there) and the road blocks are setlling in pretty late. And in just a few days after the race all the roads can be used again.

          1. An entire waterfront section of the city was closed off in Baku, with bridges for residents set up etc., so I imagine they are talking about that. Public roads themselves were closed only since June 2, two weeks before the race. Locals told me they expect normal traffic by the end of this week. But fully removing the all the F1 stuff and restoring the old city road section could indeed take up a couple of months.

    3. So potentially an exciting race but turned into a borefest once again by stupid tyres ! Sorry to keep boring you all but the message is not getting through, not at least to the responsible person/s.

      1. @hohum You boring us all? I’ve been saying that same thing in every discussion here about Canada and Baku both. I don’t care if anyone gets bored by my repeated posts because we’re all getting the bad deal of getting boring races because of Pirelli(or not as good as they could’ve been. I’ve defended Pirelli for years but not anymore. They’re rubbish at making F1 tires. They should stick with another, less demanding motorsports and get us free of their failed presence. Alas, they’d just signed a contract extension for 3 more years. Oh joy…

      2. @hohum Your message is getting through, the people in the driving seat are just ignoring you. Consider saving us the repeated comments, because you’re preaching to the choir?

    4. Jenson going back to Grove will be a bit of a coup for Williams.

      A highly marketable driver who is still capable of performing at the sharp end of the grid will be a perfect fit. However, what would be interesting is how Jensen’s existing commercial links to P&G will be managed since Unilever are one of Williams’ main sponsor.

      If it came down to Jenson and Felipe, it would a no brainer. Felipe has proven to be a steady hand, but there has been in a distinct lack of prominent drives from him of late, and it’s probably time to go. Jenson’s commercial appeal should heavily favour him.

      Also, it would be a nice way to sign off on a great career.

      1. Well, no market is as intresting to sponsors as the south American market along with Asia, North America and Africa. So if you are talking pure marketability then it would make little sense to drop Massa for Button. I think Bottas is more in danger in that sense (and also because he is not significantly quick er than Massa)

        1. Jeffery what races you been watching?

        2. Surely Nasr is a better bet for chasing the South American market than Massa – more long term marketability, more recent success (pre-F1)?

          I also don’t think Bottas isn’t ‘quicker’ than Massa, it’s that both are getting pretty much the most out of the car, give or take a few seconds between them depending on the track? They both tend to qualify within 2-3 places of each other (with a small spread) unless there’s a strategy cock-up from the team or another issue.

    5. That’s a very nice looking Williams but you know you’ve been in F1 too long when the pictures taken during your rookie year where shot on film! hehe

      1. @mantresx As long as you’re fast enough you’re young enough! :)

    6. This smells like something that Claire has got a wittle bit of experience in Spin!!!! Why would any team sign a old “has been” past his prime, when there is so much cheap exciting talent around??? Oh, unless this about marketing and team income rather than team development.

      1. @nosehair Really? And who are those young guns better than Button? I’ve never been a fan of Button because I generally dislike drivers with smooth style(I prefer those who are exciting to watch) but he’s mega fast. Still. In better shape physically than any other driver currently on the grid and at 36 he’s not too old. Some drivers took WDC’s being older than that. Michael Schumacher was 37 in 2006 and in top form still. And a vast many others.

        He’s also a notoriously excellent development driver. For a team like Williams he would be a steal

        1. Ricciardo for starters.

          1. I should’ve clarified myself more, Mark, but I thought it was clear I’m talking about drivers available for Williams. I agree Ricciardo is better than Button but he’s unavailable

            1. Stupid comment Mont you didnt clarify yourself very well very embarrassing …do you know who Danny Ric is? Comes from a earthmoving family in Perth he currently drives for Redbull and wasnt dumped in his first year quite a talent infact!!!…his Dad Joe raced local open wheelers..his Mum Grace makes a mean pasta and even ships the sauce to him in Monaco..gee l could go on about his Nonna but l wont.

        2. I agree that there is not much young blood that is worthy of F1. But for the love of jebus, Button does not deserve that spot. When driver quotes only seem to involve ‘safety’ and blaming the car for everything, I feel you are not fit for F1 anymore. Yes, it shouldn’t be a death lotery and yes, the McLaren-Honda ain’t that great, but Button feels the need to nag every single opportunity he gets. It annoys me.

          I think Massa and Bottas are currently in a better shape than Button. Not that they should keep both drivers, but Button is not an improvement. I rather see Kvyat, Magnussen or Sainz in that car than Button. Or take a leap with Alex Lynn, Robin Frijns, Sam Bird, Alex Rossi or Davide Valsecchi.

          It’s such a shame what happened to Jules Bianchi. I absolutely believe he was one of the bigger talents out there.

          1. For all those saying Button isn’t good enough, Button should retire etc. etc. etc. – when are you lot going to get sick of this nonsense?

            Year after year that’s all we hear. We get a never ending list of drivers who are supposedly ‘better’ than Button. Usually we are told that there’s a whole host of ‘young guns’ that should be promoted because they would give him a hiding.

            Like Perez, who was supposedly going to embarrass Button…
            Like Magnussen who was going to show button up for the ‘Slow, midfield driver’ that he is…

            Then there’s the list of established drivers who would SMASH Button to pieces – apparently. If I recall correctly, Alonso and Hamilton were on that list. They are just 2 of the many drivers that Button has beaten in the same car.

            As far as I can tell, Vettel is the ONLY top 3 driver on the grid that Button hasn’t beaten in the same car – yet.

            Is he the fastest driver on the grid? No.
            Is he one of the very best all round drivers on the grid? Absolutely
            Can he hold his own against ANY driver on the grid? A PROVEN yes!

            So can we give the personal prejudice a rest and just look at the facts? Button is CLEARLY and FACTUALLY still one of the very finest drivers on the grid and ANY team would be lucky to have him!

      2. @nosehair Claire’s background is in marketing, so yes, spin is her thing.

        1. Yes Opt l do know Claire is the boss’s daughter and worked in pr ..what is your point?

    7. Come on the race wasn’t that bad, it did became processional after the first pit stop, but as in Canada that’s what you get with one stop races, the DRS effect was also very similar, no real point in trying to overtake earlier on the lap.

    8. I fear for Williams future when Frank or Head go, unless they get bought out ..cos now they will always be a customer team and slide futher down the grid over time….Montreal they already have a development Driver next year in Bot who has proven his worth and who has out preformed there current Development Driver Massa..The future is pimples and and ever improving simulator technology in F1, as Redbull have already shown the world with their young driver programs.. l think debut Lynn or Evans on a one year and sign Stroll or Ilott as development driver for 2017…’…Mutton has always been a good average driver with good British marketing qualities and a nice guy..But no “gifted” win at all costs Schuey..and like you l think he is smooth maybe too smooth….and very lucky to of won a wc in a “what some say “was a “illegal blown brawn” so why pay him mills unless he returns more marketing value for the team?

      1. @nosehair

        Montreal they already have a development Driver next year in Bot who has proven his worth and who has out preformed there current Development Driver Massa..

        Neither of those are development drivers. Alex Lynn is their development driver and he’s currently contesting GP2.

        Whilst we’re on the subject, there was nothing illegal about the Brawn GP car – it was built around a grey area in the ’09 diffuser rules (that Ross Brawn had indicated to the TWG and OWG, but they ignored it), just like that years Toyota and Williams – they just did a better job (thanks to Honda’s war-chest).

        There was also nothing lucky about Button’s championship (other than the usual ‘being in the best car at the best time’) – he had to work tooth & nail for every win (except Turkey, which he pretty much strolled), especially in the latter half of the season when the car upgrades swung towards Barrichello’s favour and Red Bull came on strong whilst the team stagnated due to lack of funds. He finished in the points in every race except Spa, where he was punted off the track.

        If you don’t like a driver, just say it. Don’t hide it behind false justifications.

        1. I like Jense he seems like a nice bloke..he is not a 11ths Driver and never was….kinda like Hill..soft world champs in the best cars with big advantages….can never remember Mutton driving a Bar or a honda or anything Else and going that extra 1 or 2 % or greating a hole like the great WCs..and was Hill the only reigning WC to be dumped from a team??? Williams new Hill and Button were soft and they dumped them both..

      2. Yeah he lucked into WDC just like Vettel with “flexy front wing” or “best exaust blown diffuser” or lucked into 2 WDS like HAM is 1 second faster car then the rest and SCHUI didn’t have best car in at list 5 out of hit 7 titles and possible ILLEGAL Benetton in 94 or 95 or maybe BOTH years? Just SHUT UP already with Button lucked into WDC.

          1. Yeah DEX but Schuey Vet and Ham are and were really GREAT drivers!!!!!

            1. Oh yeah Dex, did l mention how lucky Mutton has been in F1? Oh yeah,
              LUCKY he got his debut in the fastest car on the grid and did squat and got sacked!! Lucky he didnt start at the back of the grid.

            2. @nosehair And so was Button. Qualified the rubbish 2000 Williams in P6 in only his 4th race. Fastest car in F1?! Did nothing? Got sacked? That’s why Williams kept him under contract and fought with BAR for his services, right? Can I have some of what you are smoking man? I see you don’t like Button, fair enough, but you’re embarrassing yourself with uneducated comments

              I’m sure in 2000 Frank and Patrick took him on for marketing reasons. Oh wait…

            3. 2000 willy was the best balanced car on the grid and was underdriven by a underdone Ralf and usless a Mutton and in the hands of Schuey or Mika would shown different results..Button was dumped, sacked whatever..Frank knew they made a mistake signing him to a multi year Deal…thats the facts Jack..WHY didnt Mutton drive in the 2001 car Opt?..

      3. Patrick Head hasn’t been involved with Williams for years.

        I don’t understand the rest of your post. I recognise the words, but they seem to have been thrown together willy-nilly to form random sentences.

        1. GOBSHYTE!!!!HEAD resigned from his official role when he turned 65 but still works at Williams with Hybrid and is still a major Stake holder and like Frank who supposely has stepped back but hasn’t. …Head still is very much involved 2016 .. kinda like Newey stepping back from RB to design boats …F1 is in these people’s blood..Titles change but dont read the Spin..Head and Frank will be involved with Williams until they mentally are incapable..noway Claire can run it..

    9. F1 needs or is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport. It needs drivers that comply to that. If you hold on to Button, Massa and Raikkonen aren’t you basically saying ‘don’t take us to seriously, we’re just going for steadiness rather than race wins. We just want to play the advertising game and get funds’

      1. If those drivers are performing better than the rookies, why change them out?

        1. But Opt the point is,they arent worth millions they are paid and hogging seats for the developing talent in the midfield who would drive these cars for peanuts.

        2. Evil Homer (@)
          21st June 2016, 13:42


          Agreed mate- there are a few of the young guys that will take over, others will not. There will be 5 or so not there next year. It does make sense for McLaren for Jenson to move on next year, assuming Alonso is going to see out his contract. If Button stays they may miss getting Stoffel in the team then lose both Alonso and Button the year after to retirement and be a bit lean. If Alonso wants to stop then obviously Jenson to stay to help the young fella.

          If he goes to Williams Massa will take the sword- age if nothing else of course as he has been fine against Bottas, and then if Bottas does grab the Ferrari drive, if getting more unlikely, you have a WDC in the car then promote someone like Alex Lynn.

          One issue with these Young Driver Programs is while they are great in giving these young guys finance and a chance to get to F1 we get a bottleneck- too many talented drivers who should be on the grid, ahead of pay drivers but need to wait for their chance as a reserve driver, and sometimes it doesn’t work.

          But if you asked Ron Dennis if he would prefer to lend Stoffel to another team (not bottom 3 lets say, like Red Bull did with Daniel to HRT) for a year or two until they were ready for him but may miss him OR he miss out on F1 all together despite being more than good enough what do you think he would really say?

          1. @evilhomer

            But if you asked Ron Dennis if he would prefer to lend Stoffel to another team [..] for a year or two until they were ready for him but may miss him OR he miss out on F1 all together despite being more than good enough what do you think he would really say?

            “Greetings fellow human. Do proceed with communication of generous financial proposal for acquiring the vehicular services of in-demand driver unit #03. Amount recorded. Processing. Response Generated. ‘Hah. Hah. Hah’. Laugh Communicated. Please repeat communication of generous…”

            1. Evil Homer (@)
              25th June 2016, 13:17


              LOL yes I will pay that one , well played! But SURLEY with how wealthy Ron is compared to how he is currently ‘result poor’ he would rather a top notch up & coming driver over a few more million in the back pocket! Its not money for him, its ego! (And righty so).

      2. Really? If you had to take 3 drivers out of F1, it would be those 3? Not the Sauber drivers? Not Gutierrez? Not Haryanto?

      3. I wonder exactly how many more ‘young guns’ Button has to destroy before we stop hearing this nonsense that he’s too old?

        I wonder how many more of the ‘Top 3’ drivers on the grid Button has to beat in the same car before we stop hearing that he’s not good enough?

        As far as I can tell, now that he is the ONLY driver in history to beat Alonso and Hamilton in the same car, Vettel is the only ‘Top 3’ driver on the grid he hasn’t beaten yet. Keeping in mind he hasn’t been Vettels team mate yet.

        So to all the Button haters out there who refuse to see the ACTUAL facts – do enlighten us all…

        1. Nick!!! ” in terms of a fire in belly racer” Mutton is as usless as the Popes balls….he brings back the team nice round evenly worn tyres from a stint…although he is shrewder and smarter than Macca,, who are paying him a fortune to circulate….but Jense..Macca know you are ripping em off..time to move on!!

    10. “Azerbaijan race has long-term future,” says promoter, adding “whether you like it or not.”

      1. Networkburger
        21st June 2016, 15:50


    11. One of the best looking cars ever made in F1, that Williams FW22! Such clean lines, no ridiculous aero, perfect nose. Not a very good car (with 13 retirements for both drivers), but beautiful nonetheless.

      1. + 1 I was thinking that. How great it looks compared to today’s efforts.

    12. I was wondering yesterday why Ferrari didn’t switch their driver’s order at the end of the race? RAI 2nd, VET 3rd. Vettel in the middle of Perez and Kimi could’ve helped Kimi to create that much needed 5s gap. Vettel could have driven inside that 5s margin so that in the official standings Vettel would’ve finished 2nd and Kimi 3rd. 2 Podiums and more constructor’s points for Ferrari.

      1. I would suggest the risk factor of doing that would be unacceptably high particularly as DRS made overtaking so easy at Baku. Remember Force India out-qualified Ferrari – they were very quick last weekend.

    13. Yay my first “Comment of the day”! Thanks @keithcollantine, this really made my day :D

    14. Well it would be a great headline, but it would be a poor move. I honestly cannot see what Button would offer that Massa cannot. Both are old hands, both are steady, both make few mistakes and both will need replacing in a few seasons. Trying to nab someone like Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez or even taking a punt on Alex Lynn would be better options than taking Button.

      1. Like to see Serg or Carlos in the Ferrari…Shame we didnt get to see Jules in Kimi’s seat.

    15. As someone who is about to turn 32 it kind of grinds my gears how people keep calling Button old. The only seasons he has been bad has been when his cars have been bad,people say things about how smooth he is but all drivers are sensitive to set up and balance etc,I’m sure having worked with Williams already that they have all the information on how well he works with engineers etc,bear in mind he was 20 then so he is hardly going to have become worst with his feed back. As we dont have access to telemetry people should stop saying other available drivers are better, Button is tried and tested and still a great driver and he is not old, didn’t Hill win his title in his 30’s, didn’t Schumacher? I think Mansell was 40 wasn’t he?

      1. Kimi is also sensitive to set up and balance..he’s also OLDER than Button but i don’t see anyone saying Kimi should give up his seat. Button has also beaten the majority of his team mates in his time in F1. It may be that some of you moaning about older drivers haven’t followed F1 for long.

        1. Sonia l think kimi’s best days are behind him and should give move on.

    16. I am a big supporter of Button but I can see how this might be viewed as a backwards move by Williams. You would think they might be interested in someone a little younger. However, Button is still quick and very reliable. So they are not really going to go far wrong with him. Is he a better option than Massa? I don’t know really. I think a move to what should be a quicker car might be quite a motivation for Button and he won’t be any less good. It will be interesting to see what happens.

      1. Is he a better option than Massa??

        Is this even a serious question? Massa was utterly destroyed by Alonso. If I’m not mistaken, Button beat Alonso last year – the only driver to ever do so I might add. Just as he is the ONLY driver to ever beat Hamilton.

        1. Nick I am Button’s biggest fan so I don’t say this lightly. Massa has done pretty well at Williams though and certainly keeps pace with Bottas most of the time. You are saying the same about Massa as others have said about Button. There is no need for bias.

          I was really referring to the option of someone younger who has a longer future than Jenson.

          I truly hope Button has a decent drive next season and I hope it’s with Williams.

    17. Well why would Button be much better than current drivers for Williams? I guess he is equally fast, 100% more British and prettier. Also more acomplished.

      But on the other hand, scores points like Alonso, and is 6x cheaper…

      Maybe a Massa replacement then.

      And why woul Button want to join Williams? They are faster than McLaren.

      Seems like a match made from convenience…

    18. Don’t understand the negativity around Button, the guy is quick, is a WDC, Is marketable and is still in top 10 in F1, these new young “talents” just don’t hack it

      Are any of the following currently better than Button
      Then I would even throw in Raikonnen,Hulkenberg and Perez in equal machinery so apart from the merc & red bull drivers , Vettel and maybe Alonso who else is genuinely better ?

      Ok the guy is 36 , so what ? Alonso is 35 , other drivers have won WDC well into their 30’s, it all comes down to right car right time. For Button maybe Williams present a better opportunity than McLaren as I don’t see Mclaren recovering for a few years .

      1. PS…that Williams pic does look good

      2. Frow your post is rubbish, Jense lacks and hunger and fire!!!!…put all the midfield above him and a few from the back.

    19. Disagree, anyone in that McLaren would look uninterested, how many time has also so threatened to stop, given a decent car and a shot of regular points and podiums he’ll be as good as anyone, too many Button bashers like to write him off …. You seriously think all the ones listed would do a better job… Deluded !!

      1. All the ones listed are hungry and not are being overpaid!!!

        1. They’re all also pretty mediocre

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