The Williams Formula 1 team are looking to prolong their partnership with engine supplier Mercedes beyond their current deal, due to conclude at the end of the 2010 season.
Recent rumours have suggested Williams might be evaluating other options, with Renault mooted to be in the frame, but Claire Williams has moved to dismiss those rumours with details of ongoing talks with Mercedes for the 2021 season, the first of the new Formula.
There’s a lot of speculation about Williams at the moment,” commented Williams, the team’s Deputy Team Principal.
“[Conversations with Mercedes] are going well, and we hope to be able to conclude a new partnership with them going into 2021.”
“They’ve been a fantastic partner of ours, they’ve been very supportive.”
“As such, we have a great relationship…and I would like that relationship to continue.”
Williams’ partnership with Mercedes began in 2014 and yielded ten podium finishes in its season en-route to third place in the constructors championship, ahead of Ferrari.
Another third place in the F1 constructors championship followed in 2015, but Williams was unable to capitalise on its success and results have gradually worsened, culminating in the team’s worst ever finish in Formula 1 in 2018 and worse to inevitably follow at the end of this year.
Many people are looking towards 2021 and the shake up in regulations that it will bring as being a ‘reset’ for Formula 1.
This could mean that the dominance Mercedes have enjoyed thus far in the turbo-hybrid era – Mercedes F1 have won every championship available since 2014 – comes to an end and another engine manufacturer gains an advantage.
Alternatively it could mean that engines (or Power Units as they are now known) are less of a factor in the performance of a car and teams need to look elsewhere – aero for example – if they are to gain an advantage over their competitors.
Either way, most people are hoping for a levelling of the playing field, both financial and sporting, that would allow independent teams like Williams to compete at the front of the grid without the backing or support of a major manufacturer and the unlimited budget that goes with it.
Along with the recently extended sponsorship deal with ROKiT, it would appear that Williams are keen to get everything aligned for the new era ahead of time that would give them future stability and the ability to focus on any restructuring that might be required and development of their 2021 car.