Williams edging closer to Mercedes engine deal extension

Williams on track

Williams is moving closer towards extending its engine partnership with Mercedes after dismissing suggestions that the team could move to a Renault supply.

Williams has been powered by Mercedes throughout Formula 1’s hybrid era, with the outfit profiting from the marque’s early dominance to emerge as a podium contender.

Its fortunes have since regressed amid engine convergence and its own issues, with its FW42 substantially off the pace through the 2019 season.

Williams’ current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2020 but the team expects to renew its partnership for the next phase of Formula 1’s regulations.

“We’re talking to Mercedes as you probably expect,” said deputy team boss Claire Williams.

“Those conversations 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, everyone knows that Toto [Wolff] started his Formula 1 career at Williams.

“As such, we have a great relationship with him, and I would like that relationship to continue.”

Several other teams have used the technical regulations in order to forge collaborations with affiliated teams, with Toro Rosso aligned with Red Bull and Haas, along with Alfa Romeo, associated with Ferrari.

Williams is keen to remain as independent as possible but is open to the notion of outsourcing certain development parts.

“We went through a process of evaluation last year,” said Williams.

“We’re doing the same this year off the back of what happened to us at testing, to work out what we should make versus buy. It’s an important piece of work that we concluded.

“We will now make our decisions around what we will be doing ourselves versus outsourcing, whether that be with Mercedes or alternate suppliers.

“But it’s all just dependent on the capacity that we have at Williams and what we do best, versus what other people may do better.”