Daniel Ricciardo sent Williams sales pitch by Button with star leaving McLaren

Jenson Button has encouraged Daniel Ricciardo to rebuild his F1 career with a team like Williams.

Ricciardo is looking for a new drive after being dropped by McLaren two years into his three-year contact, with Oscar Piastri to replace him in the Woking squad from next year. Piastri was granted permission to leave Alpine, where he has been a reserve driver, after the sport’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) found in McLaren’s favour.

Ricciardo had been linked with a return to Alpine, but that seat now looks set to be filled by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Moves to Haas and Williams, where Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi could lose their drives, have been mooted for Ricciardo.

READ MORE: Alpine 'shell-shocked' after losing Oscar Piastri to McLaren as contract details emerge

They would both represent a step down for the eight-time Grand Prix winner but former world champion Button, a senior advisor with Williams, believes the Grove squad would be an ideal place for the popular Australian and says he could potentially lead the team.

“Leading a team and beating your teammate in a car that is not so competitive is much better than being in a team where you’re not so competitive against your teammate,” said Button during Sky Sports’ coverage of practice at the Dutch Grand Prix, alluding to the fact Ricciardo has been outplaced by Lando Norris at McLaren.

Where should Daniel Ricciardo go in 2023? Have your say in the comments section below.

“Mentally, that is so tough. If it has the right backing and the right people, you should 100 per cent go for the opportunity. For him, driving at somewhere like Williams or another team, I think is the right thing for him to do.

“I obviously work with Williams and know what they have coming, what is changing with the team and what has changed with the team.

“It’s a really exciting prospect working with a team and developing a car around you and the way you like to drive it. I’m one of those people, like Daniel, that wants a car that suits my style. It would be the perfect scenario, I think.”

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