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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
BMW/Williams renew deal
Frank Williams and Gerhard Berger
I believe that this relationship will yield significant dividends
Frank Williams

They are the perfect partners for us
Gerhard Berger
Williams have won a major boost by extending their engine supply deal with Formula One standard-setters BMW until the end of 2009.

The deal comes after a season which has seen relations between the two parties strained, but it is a massive coup for Williams as the BMW is regarded as the most powerful engine in F1.

In agreeing the new contract, both companies hope to be able to work closer together.

"This new contract envisages enhanced integration between the two partners," said BMW board member Burkhard Goeschel in a statement at the European Grand Prix.

That sentiment was echoed by Frank Williams.

"I have every confidence that, with the structure of this new agreement, we will be able to draw from a deeper pool of BMW resource," said the head of the Williams team.

"When added together with the technical competence and determination to win at Williams, I believe that this relationship will yield significant dividends."

Juan Pablo Montoya in a Williams car

Although the current deal expires at the end of 2004, negotiations for the new deal have been taking place all year with the German carmaker seeking closer involvement on the chassis side.

Relations strained early in the season when the Williams FW25 was slowed by aerodynamics problems.

At the low point, BMW engineers put a picture of a tortoise on the inside wall of one of their trucks with a caption suggesting it was a version of the new car.

Gerhard Berger, one of two BMW motorsport directors, also made critical comments, although he said on Friday "that was all some of the tactics".

Williams came good in Monaco on 1 June, winning with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, and finished second and third in Canada two weeks ago.

"We are very happy that BMW has Williams as a long-term partner," said Berger.

"The season didn't start as well as we had hoped. It was difficult to keep cool and not get emotional.

"There were moments when we got emotional, but it was very clear that we wanted to work with them and they with us.

"They are the perfect partners for us."

The new partnership coincides with a multi-million dollar investment in facilities, including a second wind tunnel due to open in early 2004.

BMW's other motorsport director Mario Theissen said the increased co-operation will focus immediately on joint development of the drive train with gearbox.







Berger dismisses Williams
07 May 03  |  Formula One

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