Button: Williams made positive changes, on the right trajectory

Williams, 2020 Austrian Grand Prix

Jenson Button said that Williams are “not afraid of change” after he agreed to rejoin the Grove-based team as an advisor on Friday.

Button made his Formula 1 debut for Williams in 2000, finishing eighth in the drivers’ standings before moving on to Renault a year later.

The 2009 world champion spent 17 years in the sport before retiring at the end of the 2016 season, although he did return for one race in 2017 as a replacement for the absent Fernando Alonso.

Button’s arrival comes following the departure of the Williams family during last season, who sold the team to investment firm Dorilton Capital in August.

The sale came after a very difficult period for the team, who had fallen down the standings, finishing the last three seasons in last position.

The American-based firm has overhauled the management structure since its arrival and Button believes the new owners have “some great ideas” to help turn things around.

“I think that they’re not afraid of change,” he told Sky Sports F1. “In Formula 1, all of the teams have a set of things that they do, and the way that they work and the way they go about it.

“I think they’re trying to change that, and they’re trying to change the sport up a bit.

“They’re not afraid to try new things, but the people who are running the team, they are very experienced. They have some great ideas, and there’s definitely a good atmosphere in the team.

“This 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’re world champions, they’ve won multiple world championships.

“I look forward to working with them, and however much I can help, I will. It’s one of those things that everyone needs to be pulling their weight. Everyone needs to give 100%.

“The team needs to be passionate, every single person that works there. It can’t be just a job, it’s got to be the passion and love for the sport, and that’s the only way we’re going to fight at the front again.”

Since retiring from the sport, the former McLaren driver spent time racing in Super GT, while also acting as a pundit on Sky Sports F1, but he now appears ready to jump back in.

“This felt like the perfect moment to rejoin Williams, a team that gave me so many opportunities when I started my career in F1,” Button added.

“They gave me the drive, they nurtured me through that year, and it really was a very special year for me. This feels like the right time to rejoin the team and I’m excited about working with them to help this team back to the front.

“There’s a new sense of optimism. There’s a lot of positive changes for the future. Things don’t change overnight, but they’re on the right trajectory at the moment.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a new challenge, one I’m definitely ready for.”