Williams, like Renault, ready for big-name driver

Last week we were talking about Renault Sport F1 and their desire for a real brand ambassador and star as one or both of their drivers. We discussed who that might be and it now seems that Williams are ready to talk about a big star in the unreasonably priced car.

According to chief technical wonk, Pat Symonds, the team are now ready for a big name. The speculation has been swirling around Jenson Button as he’s languishing at McLaren, has a contract that ends in 2016 and doesn’t seem to be speaking much about other racing opportunities outside of Formula 1.

“In 2014, people were asking why don’t you go and get [Fernando] Alonso and things like that and I said no, we weren’t ready as a team and we weren’t ready financially,” Symonds said.

“As a team now, I would welcome any driver.

“We can produce the goods but we’re not a big budget team.

“One of the skills of a team like ours is to allocate resource correctly whether it’s human resource or financial resource and that includes the resource spent on drivers.

“So one would need a balance.”

Williams, according to the wonderfully talent folks at AUTOSPORT, said they are not a big budget team but the seem keen to retain Valtteri Bottas for another season while adding star-power to the soon-to-be-vacant seat of Felipe Massa. If Williams made a very nice resurgent career move for Massa as well as a nice exit ramp for his career in F1, perhaps it could do the same for Button?

Other names such as Sergio Perez—which would be completely legitimate—and Felipe Nasr are being thrown about as potential replacement for the venerable—by F1 terms—Felipe Massa.

If i had to choose, it would be Button, Perez, Sainz, Nasr and potentially Werhlein, Magnussen, or Kvyat in that order. Ultimately Button give Williams much bigger brand and marketing opportunity not to mention he’s a damn good driver and former world champ. That would be my first pick but what would yours be? Keep in mind, you can’t pick Hamilton or other drivers that are locked into long contracts. The drivers above are in one-year deals and might be poachable.