Williams, like Renault, ready for big-name driver

Last week we were talking about Renault Sport F1 and their desire for a real brand ambassador and star as one or both of their drivers. We discussed who that might be and it now seems that Williams are ready to talk about a big star in the unreasonably priced car.

According to chief technical wonk, Pat Symonds, the team are now ready for a big name. The speculation has been swirling around Jenson Button as he’s languishing at McLaren, has a contract that ends in 2016 and doesn’t seem to be speaking much about other racing opportunities outside of Formula 1.

“In 2014, people were asking why don’t you go and get [Fernando] Alonso and things like that and I said no, we weren’t ready as a team and we weren’t ready financially,” Symonds said.

“As a team now, I would welcome any driver.

“We can produce the goods but we’re not a big budget team.

“One of the skills of a team like ours is to allocate resource correctly whether it’s human resource or financial resource and that includes the resource spent on drivers.

“So one would need a balance.”

Williams, according to the wonderfully talent folks at AUTOSPORT, said they are not a big budget team but the seem keen to retain Valtteri Bottas for another season while adding star-power to the soon-to-be-vacant seat of Felipe Massa. If Williams made a very nice resurgent career move for Massa as well as a nice exit ramp for his career in F1, perhaps it could do the same for Button?

Other names such as Sergio Perez—which would be completely legitimate—and Felipe Nasr are being thrown about as potential replacement for the venerable—by F1 terms—Felipe Massa.

If i had to choose, it would be Button, Perez, Sainz, Nasr and potentially Werhlein, Magnussen, or Kvyat in that order. Ultimately Button give Williams much bigger brand and marketing opportunity not to mention he’s a damn good driver and former world champ. That would be my first pick but what would yours be? Keep in mind, you can’t pick Hamilton or other drivers that are locked into long contracts. The drivers above are in one-year deals and might be poachable.


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Don Thorpe

Button or Button

Gaetano Colosi

Definitely Sainz. On par with wunderkid before the promotion and can only get better with a more competitive car. Also would be attractive for Carlos considering the ‘A’ team places at RedBull appear to be locked out.
My second choice would be Kyvat. Far better driver than his current form and he would have no love lost for his current team. Remember he outscored Danny Ric last year.


Felipe nasr?? You gotta be kidding…
Wehrlein before Magnussen?? WTF

And kvyat, WHO would consider that? I feel pitty for him for sure – but I cant see who’s gonna Pick him up now

Button/Bottas makes sence
Otherwise Button/Magnussen kind of makes sence too, had a good year together at McLater, and their good relationship is obvious

Gaetano Colosi

Have you forgotten how good Kyvat was last year? He has been screwed by his team and would likely get his form back in a different environment.
Button is past his prime. Bottas is a ‘never will be’. Nasr … not really good enough. Magnussen, also not really good enough. Wehrlein may be a master stroke, but it is a gamble. Perez is a safe bet, but don’t see championship material in him.
Nope, it’s gotta be Sainz and if he says no, then Kyvat.


Well I do agree, Kvyat did show good talent in RB, he is a great driver. But again, they all are. And I sincerely doubt that any team with ambition would hire the man. Problem is that he has fallen through so heavily that it somehow shows lack of character, he’s losing bigtime to his teammate and doing erratic crash etc. You have to be better, not sinkning completly when you’re in heavy rain. Button is british, so is Williams. He’s popular, you gotta give the man that he’s carismatic. He’s still very fast. Besiddes that, the teams Always talk… Read more »

Meine Postma

Kvyat is still so young and then to get such a blow (riding for a top team, and suddenly for no reason of your doing not).

Taking that badly is not lack of character in my book.
It just shows he is young and still learning about life.

I consider him a top racer for the future.

But maybe I’m completely wrong; I just hope we will find out.

Zachary Noepe

I appreciate your patience and understanding, but the truth is we’re looking to fill the 20 best race car driving seats from a pool of 6 billion people, probably a million of whom could do the job, so there’s just not a need to look at someone who reacts to pressure by triple rear ending a world champion in front of his home crowd then goes into a three month long profanity filled performance dive and say ‘give him time, maybe he’ll come around one day!’ Toss him out and slot in another one. If he wanted the sort of… Read more »


I hope Pérez does not leave Force India, he is better off there.


Rumor has it that both Button and Perez were seen at the William factory.


I think Kvyat would be great at Renault. They say that they want a personable ambassador for the team and Kvyat has, to my mind, always done that. Renault could do much worse. And don’t forget it was Lotus that worked with Romain Grosjean through his difficulties. As such, they might not be as hesitant as other teams to take him on. Honestly, the payoff in terms of loyalty would probably exceed the cost of entry by orders of magnitude. Pretty low risk, high opportunity for reward. He is also very good with the current Renault engine control schema: Not… Read more »


I wonder what has convinced Pat Symonds that Williams are ready for a top rank driver? Their ontrack progress has really fallen off this year, and that hasn’t been because the drivers have been under performing. The cars have appeared difficult to drive, and race performance has often faltered even when qualifying was decent. I think Pat should use his budget on the aero and chassis, and make sure they have a top three team / car before splashing cash on a big(ger) name driver.