Williams ‘not waiting around’ for decision on Button’s F1 future

© Getty Images
3 Comments

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.”

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
0 Comments

Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”