With Lewis Hamilton winning the planet and three small solar systems, it’s hard to imagine another British driver still having the brand equity to make a crowd erupt in support but that’s what Jenson Button has and he has it in spades.
All of the talk recently about JB’s long-term future at McLaren has resulted in the concept of returning from whence he came…Williams F1. Sure, the sun may be setting on Felipe Massa’s career as his contract ends this year but could Button find a home there? We’ve discussed this before but Claire Williams said:
“It would be lovely,” Williams said. “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.”
But leave it to the weathered veteran, Pat Symonds, to shed light on the real issue:
“Jenson would fit into the team well and we would serve him well,” he said.
“But I have no idea what Jenson’s salary is and that is an important part of the equation.”
Yep, JB has a decent salary and Williams may not be willing to pay a driver the sums JB would demand. All of this depends on a lot of factors. There has to be some reality that Button could be facing his final year in F1 and if he wants to stay in it, he may be willing to take less or pinch some of his sponsors for some cash to offset his salary expense. Who knows? He may have been exploring other options outside F1 and finding them just as alluring financially speaking.
Personally, I would love to see JB stay in F1 and Williams F1 would be a great fit. The team are reasonably competitive and need some help staying in that third-place range. Button could be helpful in that role.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT