Williams and Toyota

Mark Webber, Monaco GP 2006

Mark Webber, Monaco GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

For several months now it has been an open secret that Williams and Toyota were on the verge of an engine supply deal, the British team having set out to find a new partner after its partnership with BMW fell apart at the end of last year. There were discussions as long ago as last autumn but it was impossible for a deal to be done for the 2006 season and so Williams went with Cosworth.

It is hoped that the new deal will not only propel Williams back to the front in F1 but also help Toyota to turn its racing team into a more successful entity.

The deal will allow the two teams to fight one another and run with identical specifications of engine, hopefully spurring one or the other to win a World Championship for Toyota.

The deal is for three years and Williams is now in a very good position if Toyota does decide that Panasonic Toyota Racing is never going to make it and decides to fall back on an alternative challenge. That may sound far fetched but in CART racing it should be remembered that Toyota backed Dan Gurney's All American Racers for several years before lack of success led to a switch to Chip Ganassi - and success.

The move will also help Williams in its quest for sponsorship as having what amounts to a manufacturer deal withe the world's most successful car manufacturer will certainly impress big sponsors.

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