Williams and Mercedes in discussion over closer ties
Williams and Mercedes are discussing the opportunity to work more closely as the former looks to return to competitive ways following a recent slump.
Williams have gradually been in decline and is currently the lowest ranked team with just four points, less than a quarter of what nearest rival Sauber have scored (18).
The opportunity to have closer ties with engine supplier Mercedes has been mooted as a way to boost performance and Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe admitted they are open to the idea, which would be similar to the Ferrari/Haas deal, which sees the American outfit source as much as the rules allow from the Italian team, effectively becoming a Ferrari 'B-team'.
"Formula 1 is changing," Lowe told the official F1 website. "Force India were one of the early ones to abandon the full constructor definition that teams had historically followed of essentially making everything except an engine.
“We’ve seen more and more teams adopting gearboxes from elsewhere. Now we have the Haas model where you adopt everything that is not listed.
“We have our eyes open to all of those possibilities because we owe it to ourselves. You’ve got to move with the times and do the best thing for the performance of the team."
However Lowe was keen to stress that Williams' history of doing everything it possibly can do itself would make adopting the Haas model a difficult one.
"Williams has a strong culture of being an independent, being a constructor, not only in the parts we are responsible for but also we are making them in-house.
"We have a capacity of manufacturing on our own site and we’ve prided ourselves on that. I don’t see us moving drastically away from that. But we remain open [to the idea]."