Jenson Button reuniting with Williams F1 team as senior advisor
Jenson Button rejoins the team he began his F1 career with in 2000, and will dovetail his new Williams duties with his ongoing role as a Sky F1 expert analyst; Button: "I'm excited to work with them to help this team back to the front"
By James Galloway and Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 22/01/21 4:21pm
Jenson Button is reuniting with Williams as senior advisor, 21 years after he made his F1 debut with the team.
The 2009 world champion and Sky Sports F1 pundit has signed a multi-year agreement with the team he enjoyed a starring rookie season with as a 20-year-old in 2000.
Button will dovetail his new Williams duties with his ongoing role as a Sky F1 expert analyst. He will provide guidance to Williams, attending a number of races with them, as well as work with their race drivers, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, and academy drivers.
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"I've really enjoyed getting back into F1 [with Sky], seeing it change over the last few years, so this felt like the perfect moment to rejoin Williams - a team that gave me so many opportunities," said Button to Sky Sports.
"When I started my career in F1, they gave me the drive, they nurtured me through that year and it really was a special year for me. So 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."
Back to the future: Button return as new era continues
The famous Grove team have undergone significant changes in recent months since the historic move by the Williams family to sell the outfit to US investment firm Dorilton Capital.
With the aim of moving back up the grid from the rear of the field over the course of this decade, Williams have installed the highly-experienced Jost Capito as their new CEO and expanded the team's technical relationship with world champions Mercedes.
"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," said Button.
"Things don't change overnight but I think they are on the right trajectory at the moment. I cannot 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'll be great to see the team working live and having my input.
"Coming from the outside with the experience that 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."
Capito, who has vast motorsport experience including a stint in F1 with McLaren in 2016, said the return of Button would "will add another layer to our transformation both technically and as a business".
"Bringing Jenson back on board is another positive step to help us move forward as a team both on and off track," said Capito.
"Jenson has always been a friend of the team and so it is great to welcome him back into the Williams family. Back in 2000, Sir Frank saw the promising talent Jenson had as a driver and gave him his first opportunity in F1. He more than fulfilled that initial promise throughout a glittering career that culminated in world championship glory.
"More recently, he has shown his acumen in both the business and broadcasting worlds and remains a widely respected figure in the paddock. All this experience will add another layer to our transformation both technically and as a business. I know everyone at Grove has huge respect for him and we are delighted to start working with him."
After just a single season of British F3, the youthful Button was signed by Sir Frank Williams for the first season of the new millennium as team-mate to Ralf Schumacher. Button scored points in his second race, with a sixth-placed finish in Brazil, and was a regular points contender through the season before departing for Benetton.