Jenson Button, who has returned to Williams as a special advisor, says the team are looking to bring “change” to Formula 1.
Button started his career at Williams back in 2000, given his first drive in Formula 1 by Sir Frank Williams.
From there, he went on to drive for Benetton, Renault, Honda, Brawn and McLaren, winning the World Championship with Brawn in 2009.
With 15 Formula 1 race victories to his name, Button will now bring all his experience back to where it started after Williams appointed him as a special advisor ahead of the 2021 campaign.
The Williams family sold the team to American investment firm Dorilton Capital in 2020 and Button says the new owners are keen to change the way Formula 1 teams work.
“This feels like the right time to rejoin the team and I’m excited to work with them to help this team back to the front,” Button told Sky Sports F1.
“I think there’s a sense of optimism, there’s a lot of changes and I think a lot of positive changes for the future.
“Things don’t change overnight but I think they are on the right trajectory at the moment. I can’t wait to get to Grove and spend some time with the drivers and all of the staff. I’ll also be doing some stuff with them over the grand prix weekends when I’m there – it will be great to see the team working live and having my input.
“Coming from the outside with the experience I have, of working with six different F1 teams in my career and 17 years of racing, it’s always interesting from an outsider looking in as you see things that can be improved. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a new challenge, one I’m definitely ready for.
“They’re not afraid of change. In F1, I think all of the teams have things they do, a way they work and go about it. I think they’re trying to change that, trying to change the sport up a little bit.
“The people that are running the team are very experienced, they have some great ideas and there’s a good atmosphere within the team.
“The 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 grow up so fast, don't they!
22nd Jan, 2021: Rejoins the team as Senior Advisor 🙌 pic.twitter.com/vAYL5qYdEQ
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) January 22, 2021
Button confirmed that as part of his duties at Williams he will be “working with the current drivers” and “also working with the academy drivers”.
But his role is not set to involve any action behind the wheel of current Williams machinery.
“In terms of driving the current car, that’s probably a no,” he said.
“There’s definitely some opportunity to drive some heritage cars.”
After his active Formula 1 career came to an end following the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, Button has switched his focus to sportscar racing, featuring in Super GT, the World Endurance Championship and DTM, even making a one-off appearance in the British GT Championship.
He is also a part of Sky F1’s coverage, serving as a pundit.