JULY 11, 2005
Engine supply at Williams
There may be an engine deal done by the Williams team for 2006 but that does not mean that the final plan is yet decided. Our spies tell us that the team could have Cosworth V8 engines in 2006 and will then switch to Lexus-badged Toyota engines in 2007 and beyond but there is still work going behind the scenes to see whether or not the Williams-Toyota relationship can begin immediately. This makes sense for both parties and the only problems appear to ones of practicality and finance. The chief problem is that Toyota has a deal on the table with Jordan Grand Prix. This is all well and good but a deal is only a deal when money changes hands and the word in the F1 paddock is that this is something which the Russian owners have problems with at the moment. If payment had been made, the deal would have been announced. It has not been announced. Therefore.
There is also the bigger question of money because Williams is a team which does not want to pay for its engines, indeed, it has a right to ask any manufacturer for money. In Formula 1 you get what you pay for when it comes to the teams.
Williams has a lot of problems to sort out at the same time because the departure of BMW may also mean the departure of German firms such as Allianz. The future of Hewlett-Packard is also a little up in the air, but that is not new. The American computer giant has been uncertain about F1 for some time as the deal, you may recall, started out as a Compaq sponsorship before that takeover took place.
So Williams is working flat out at the moment trying to sort out its deals. We would expect to hear something solid after the end of July but no before.
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