It was announced this Friday that Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 World Champion who began his F1 journey with Williams, will be joining the team as a senior advisor on a multi-year deal. Button, currently 41, comes back to the team he debuted for after almost 21 years since his first start. It is the newest addition to the team since the takeover by the American investment fund Dorilton Capital in August. Williams was facing an extremely difficult period both on the track and financially, after 3 seasons of finishing in the last place in the constructors’ championship. If not the acquisition by Dorilton this year, the team could have went into bankruptcy, also due to the difficult situation the sport was facing because of the pandemic.
Now working with the team from Grove, UK, Button said that he felt a “sense of optimism” in the team, and that the new owners were not afraid of trying new things out and changing some of the team’s habits in order to bring it back to the performance from the past.
As he said in an interview with Sky Sports F1: "I think that they're not afraid of change. 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.”
He added: ”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.
Button, who finished his F1 career with the end of 2016 and since then focused on racing sport cars (he won the Super GT title in 2018) and stayed involved in F1 due to his work for Sky Sports, felt the role at Williams was an opportunity for him to be more involved and active in F1 once again.
As he said: "This felt like the perfect moment to rejoin Williams, a team that gave me so many opportunities when I started my career in F1. 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.”
He added: ”I'm really looking forward to it. It's a new challenge, one I'm definitely ready for."