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No change at Williams

ALTHOUGH it is yet to be announced Frank Williams is believed to have reached final agreement to keep both his current F1 drivers in 1998. Heinz-Harald Frentzen is under contract to the team and Jacques Villeneuve had an option with the team which has been taken up and there are no longer any problems over money.

The team is now focusing on helping Jacques Villeneuve win the World Championship and the French-Canadian will have the use of the team's spare car for the rest of the season, although we understand that a second spare may be taken to the Nurburgring to give Frentzen more of a chance at his home race. Williams contracts are believed to include a clause by which the leading Williams driver gets the use of the spare car from the mid season onwards.

Although they are not entirely happy with some of the drivers' performances this year Frank Williams and Patrick Head are well away of the importance of stability within the team and are hoping that Villeneuve and Frentzen will improve in the months ahead.

We understand, however, that in the months ahead Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock will be seen less at the races as he is spending a large amount of his time setting up a rival racing team for BAT.

The decision to remain with the same drivers next year is a major setback to Gerhard Berger's hopes of becoming a Williams driver. The Austrian had been offering his services to Williams for a fraction of his current salary in an effort to prolong his F1 career with a top team.

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