A seat may only have just become officially available, but Jenson Button may have missed the boat to switch to Williams for 2017.
The 36-year-old driver and McLaren supremo Ron Dennis have said they will get together at Monza to discuss the future, amid strong speculation the Woking team will replace Button with Stoffel Vandoorne.
“I’m sure I will speak to Ron this weekend,” said Button.
Interestingly, although Williams has been hinting at its interest in Button for 2017, the 2009 world champion said Felipe Massa’s decision to retire caught him by surprise.
“I didn’t know it was going to happen,” said Button.
But even though the seat is definitely open now, and Massa says he told Williams of his decision two months ago, Button may not actually return to Grove where he began his F1 career some 16 years ago.
“If Jenson had been banging the door down, Williams would have welcomed him,” a team source told The Times.
“It was a perfect fit and they would have loved to see him back. But he has taken too long making a decision and things have moved on. He seems to be hanging on for another year at McLaren,” the unnamed source added.