Reporting from the 2016 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, UK
Claire Williams has suggested at a 2017 contract for McLaren’s Jenson Button.
This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and at the after party, there was something that caught my attention. Williams’ deputy Team Principal Claire Williams was onstage this afternoon and was asked about the possibility of signing Button for next season, after much speculation across the Formula 1 world.
“We’ll see if he signs the contract,” Williams spoke, and asked the crowd to question Button about signing it when he came onstage.
The fact she referred to a possible contract as “the contract” suggests that negotiations are already in place.
When asked, Button refused to release any information about it, saying that he was happy with McLaren and that they were all working hard on their ‘new project’, even when pressed for information by the interviewer. The Brit said that right now, his priority is to win races, and that it would not be fair to anyone if he would consider a possible move to Williams now. I imagine that we will find out in around September/October of wether the move will be made or not.
So, who would Button replace if he was to drive for Williams in 2017? My bet is on Felipe Massa, despite the fact he has had some good drives this season, he has been more often than not undermined by teammate Valtteri Bottas, although Massa finished eleventh this afternoon, whereas Bottas finished fourteenth.
However, there is still time. Will Button drive for Williams in 2017, or stay with McLaren, if offered a seat? It is unlikely that he will retire from the sport out of choice, he has said numerous times that he does not feel like his time is up in Formula 1, and is keen to secure a seat for next season. Only time will tell.