There has been a lot of speculation in the last couple of months concerning BMW and whether the manufacturer will continue to supply engines to Williams in 2006, or may switch to Sauber. Although talks are ongoing it seems that the situation is...
There has been a lot of speculation in the last couple of months concerning BMW and whether the manufacturer will continue to supply engines to Williams in 2006, or may switch to Sauber. Although talks are ongoing it seems that the situation is not about to be concluded in the immediate future.
The BMW-Williams partnership started in 2000 but there has been a certain amount of friction between the two for a while. BMW has been critical of Williams' lack of performance, at least in the early part of 2005, something that team boss Frank Williams does not take lightly.
"Our partnerships in the past with Renault and Honda have been more successful and co-operative," he remarked, according to Autosport. "You never had this constant finger-pointing."
According to the German press Williams is not worried about finding an alternative engine partnership if the contract with BMW dissolves. Toyota and Honda have been linked with the team, although there is no concrete evidence of any serious talks.
However, Williams has been much more competitive in the last few races and BMW may decide to stay with the Grove squad should that continue -- presuming Williams wants the partnership to continue. It's entirely feasible that the manufacturer could supply engines to both Williams and Sauber next season.
It's common knowledge that BMW is in talks with Sauber in regard to an engine supply. The Swiss team is currently powered by Ferrari but is seeking a new engine partner and Ferrari announced earlier this season that it will supply Red Bull in 2006.
The rumour mill has it that BMW is in fact planning a takeover of Sauber and installing motorsport director Mario Theissen as team principal but the concerned parties have so far denied, or refused to comment, on that scenario. However, an engine supply from the German marque is likely.
"I hope to close an agreement soon, as it would be in the interest of both parties," team boss Peter Sauber told Italy's Autosprint magazine. "Unfortunately we haven't reached that point at the moment."
The other manufacturers in Formula One -- Renault, Honda and Mercedes -- have previously said that supplying a second team is not out of the question but the main consideration for would-be engine recipients is, as always, whether they can strike an affordable deal.