Williams will not wait for a decision to be made on Jenson Button’s Formula 1 future with McLaren before sorting its own line-up for the 2017 season, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams.
Button, 36, is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season, and is at risk of losing his seat to junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Should McLaren opt to replace Button, a return to Williams – the team he made his F1 debut with back in 2000 – has been mooted, with a change of line-up expected for the British team.
However, Williams was defiant in saying that the team would not be waiting for Button and McLaren to make a decision before pushing on with its own plans for next year.
“We will own our driver line-up decision, and I am not sat here waiting for Ron Dennis to make his decision or for Jenson to make his decision,” Williams told Press Association Sport.
“It is not about what other people are doing. I am not going to be waiting around because that is just not the right mentality for a team like ours to have.
“It would be a great story, but he has to make the right choice for him, and we have to make the right choice for the team.”
Besides Button, Williams has been linked with Force India driver Sergio Perez for 2017 as the Mexican explores options away from the team.
“Sergio has done a great job this year, he is an intelligent driver, and of course he is going to be someone we are looking at,” Williams added.
“I have only met him briefly on the odd occasion. He is very charming. He is very eloquent, so commercially he would be strong for any team
“Of course he is going to be someone you’d consider if he is available.”