Williams to lose sponsors?

If you listen to the F1 rumor mill, then a lot of cash could walk out of Frank Williams' office door ahead of the 2006 season. 'FedEx' and 'Petrobras', according to speculation, could both switch – with BMW – to Sauber next year. Title sponsor HP may quit F1 altogether.

BMW's Mario Theissen denied, at least, that the new works team will depend on those dollars. ''It was clear that BMW (is) prepared to put up the team with its own financial resources,'' he told formula1.com.

''But I am telling no secret that sponsors are warmly welcomed.''

The 'motor sport director' also scotched talk that he will definitely be team principal. ''This is not the time to speculate about positions,'' Dr Theissen added. The German even passed on whether the Sauber-BMW alliance will be known simply as 'BMW'.

He said: ''We have some ideas … but so far these are only ideas.'' One thing, at least, is pretty certain. The alliance with Williams is, simply, over. Theissen said: ''Success is the best way when it comes to goodbye. We want to finish the partnership on a high, not a low.''

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