Williams driver Nicholas Latifi and his former team-mate George Russell say that Jenson Button has been a great asset for the Grove-based outfit since his appointment as a senior advisor last year.
Button, who made his Formula 1 debut with Williams in the year 2000 racing alongside Ralf Schumacher has been working closely with the drivers as well as team personnel, both at the race track and back at the factory.
The 2009 World Champion’s return to Williams cannot be understated as the changes that the team made last year arguably helped to elevate the outfit from last in the Constructors’ Championship in 2020 to P8 in the standings, ending 2021 on 23 points.
Button’s positive impact on the team has not been lost on either Latifi or Russell with the pair sharing their thoughts on his return with the official Formula 1 website.
“Since Jenson joined, he’s been a great asset to the team,” Latifi said.
“Obviously earlier with Covid still an issue he wasn’t in the factory so much…but I mean he obviously has a wealth of experience in the sport and the unique perspective as a driver which is good for me personally, and even his old race engineer [Dave Robson] is with our team as well so we have a relationship as well.”
The Canadian believes that it will be also valuable for the Williams engineers to have Button’s input.
“Yes, just from working with the team from that side, I see him [Button] talking to the engineers and giving his opinion on what he’s been seeing, which I’m sure is valuable to them.
“I guess from the personal side, I’m still very new to Formula 1.
“He’s given me little words of wisdom on starting out, good approaches, bad approaches and whatnot and yes, just the odd little bits of encouragement after qualifying or after the race if I manage to bump into him.”
Latifi has a new team-mate at Williams this year with Alex Albon joining the outfit to replace Russell who has joined Mercedes for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Albon may not have worked with Button closely yet however, but that didn’t stop the Thai-British driver from having some fun on social media on Wednesday while visiting the factory on what was Button’s 42nd birthday.
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) January 19, 2022
Russell, who has since left Williams also feels that Button’s return to the team has been beneficial, adding to the official Formula 1 website: “I’ve been fortunate even prior to Jenson joining Williams again that I had a good relationship with him.
“And he was very open and always there whenever needed…but he’s more so now actually due to the Covid rules [that] have opened up.
“[He’s] always in the garage, in the hospitality, talking to the engineers, to myself, to Jost [Capito, CEO of Williams] and I think that’s really great, just to sound ideas off him and get his feedback and input from his own experiences because obviously he’s had a huge amount of experience.
“So it’s in ways unique to have somebody like Jenson a part of your team.”
The Williams team has yet to announce the launch date of their 2022 Formula 1 car which they hope will help move them further up the order over the course of the coming season.
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