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Cosworth then Toyota in Williams futureUPDATE #2 Toyota is about to double its involvement in F1 with a deal to supply engines to Williams in 2007. This will probably be announced this weekend and will mean Cosworth will be left with just Minardi in 2007. 07/12/05 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. More at Grandprix.com
07/11/05 A Williams-Toyota has already been ruled out by the Japanese manufacturer for next season, as current customers Jordan - who will by then be known as Midland - are set to retain the make’s supply for 2006.
"We are not planning to supply Williams next year," Toyota boss John Howett stated during the British GP weekend. "We have had some approach for the future and whether we do it or not we have to discuss and consider, but for next year it is not possible.”
For next year not, but for 2007 perhaps. A theory that ran the Silverstone paddock claimed that Williams is all too keen to drop BMW for ’06, after the German automaker decided to switch works-team status to Sauber for the coming season.
With no other manufacturers ready to step in, Sir Frank Williams could opt to sign an “emergency”, one-year contract with Cosworth ahead of a new factory deal in ’07, with no one other than Toyota itself.
The Japanese manufacturer would, however, campaign its luxury Lexus brand in the Grove, UK-based team’s cars, as Lexus gets ready to expand worldwide - including entry into Japan’s own domestic market, where its cars were sold under the Toyota name - in the next couple of years.
Cosworth so far has no clients for its new V8 engine, as Red Bull will switch to Ferrari power and Minardi’s set to stick to a rev-limited V10 power plant in ‘06. A confirmation of Williams’ plans is expected in a maximum of three weeks’ time. SPEEDTV.com
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