Williams talking to 'lots of drivers' and not ruling out Jenson Button
Claire Williams describes Button as an 'attractive proposition'
By Pete Gill and Craig Slater
Last Updated: 21/06/16 7:51am
Williams say they are in talks 'with a lot of drivers' for the 2017 season and have refused to rule out re-hiring Jenson Button.
Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa currently drive for the team. But while Williams retain an option on Bottas to retain him for another year, Massa's deal expires at the end of this season.
"We are talking to them and we are having other conversations with other drivers in the paddock to see what other opportunities there are," deputy team principal Claire Williams told Sky Sports News HQ.
"But that's not to say we aren't happy with the job Valtteri and Felipe are doing. We have a great line-up, but no decision has been made. We just have to work through the conversations."
Williams has previously vowed to be proactive in the driver market this year after uncertainty shrouded their line-up for this season 12 months ago while Ferrari deliberated whether or not to stick with Kimi Raikkonen.
The Grove outfit have been heavily linked with Button amid paddock rumour the Englishman could return to the team almost 20 years after he made his F1 debut at Williams in 2000.
McLaren, who have kept Button waiting for the last two years before re-signing the Englishman, confirmed in Baku they will not open talks about their 2017 driver line-up until September.
"'Button back at Williams' is a great headline. He started his career here, he's a world champion and extremely intelligent when it comes to building a team around him and helping the engineering side develop the car," said Williams.
"Of course he is going to be an attractive proposition if he is available. But we are talking to a lot of drivers in the paddock at the moment - and he may or may not be on the list."
Don't miss the F1 Report: Baku review on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm on Wednesday with Marc Priestley, Kevin Eason and Mark Gallagher