Button returns to Williams F1 in an advisory role

FILE PHOTO: Formula One - F1 - Monaco Grand Prix - Monaco - 24/05/2017 - McLaren's Jenson Button during a news conference. REUTERS/Max Rossi

LONDON (Reuters) - The Williams Formula One team have signed 2009 world champion Jenson Button as an advisor, 21 years after handing him his grand prix debut.

The team said in a statement on Friday that the 41-year-old, who won his title with Brawn GP, would serve as a 'senior advisor' on a multi-year deal.

"I am so delighted to once again be able to say that I’ve signed for Williams," said Button.

"Back when I was 19 it was a moment that changed my life and, despite the fact it was over 20 years ago, I already feel like I never really left.

"Sir Frank Williams showed faith in me which I will be eternally grateful for and I am incredibly excited to have the chance to come back and help the team as it strives once more for success."

Williams, who changed ownership last year with the founding family selling up to U.S.-based Dorilton Capital, said Button would attend a number of races with them and some team events in Britain.

The Briton, who retired in 2017 after eight years at McLaren, will also continue his role as a pundit for Sky Sports television.

"Bringing Jenson back on board is another positive step to help us move forward as a team both on and off track," said newly-appointed Williams chief executive Jost Capito.

He said Button's experience would "add another layer to our transformation both technically and as a business."

Williams have British youngster George Russell, who has a long-term Mercedes contract and shone when he stood in for seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton last season, and Canadian Nicholas Latifi as their 2021 driver line-up.

The team finished last without a point last year and have not won a race since 2012.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

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