Williams Shouldn’t Hit The Button


It is that time of the year when Formula 1's silly season swings into high gear while the quote-makers are off on some luxury island sunning themselves and this year it is Williams.

The Grove squad’s possible three-driver race for Valtteri Bottas' seat should be reduced to two as, despite ticking all the boxes, Jenson Button has little to offer the team.

Bottas and his potential move to Ferrari has tongues wagging, fingers typing and the world speculating about who could replace him.

The most logical candidate is GP2 driver Alex Lynn.

Already a member of the Williams squad, Lynn ticks at least two of the three boxes Williams need to not only push forward with their recovery but also make the marketing department happy.

The 21-year-old is not only quick, as demonstrated by his recent GP2 Hungarian win, but he's also British and that is a marketing dream for a British F1 team.

What he is not, though, is experienced. But as the team have that in Felipe Massa, who is expecting to stay on, there is some lee-way to give Lynn a season or two to build up his F1 know-how.

Candidate two; Nico Hulkenberg.

Unless something changes dramatically in the coming weeks, the likeable German is set to once again miss out on a Ferrari race-seat. That's three links, three denials.

Another season at Force India would not mean much in the greater scheme of Hulkenberg's F1 career as it would do nothing to move him closer to a top team so a return to Williams could be the cards.

He raced for the Grove team in 2010, making his debut and securing pole position at the Brazilian GP, before being unceremoniously dropped in favour of Pastor Maldonado's millions.

Hulkenberg has used the subsequent seasons to build himself into a highly-rated driver and a Le Mans 24 Hours winner. His pace and his experience are two ticks in his favour.

Both Lynn and Hulkenberg, though, could be up against Button for the seat as in a surprise move he was recently linked to his former team as his current outfit McLaren are yet to decide whether or not to retain him.

And he ticks all three boxes that Williams may want; British, speed and experience.

Yet, out of the three, Button has the least to offer Williams.

At 35, Button's career is winding down, it is fading. The experience he is likely to bring to the table, Williams have that in Massa and can find it in Hulkenberg. The pace, both Lynn and Hulkenberg have that. The British-ness, well Lynn has that too.

There is nothing unique that Button has to offer and there is no future to build on. There is, despite three boxes ticked, very little of everything and a pretty big pay cheque to go with that.

Michelle Foster