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Last Updated: Friday, 16 May, 2003, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
Don't write us off, say Williams
Patrick Head, technical director of Williams
Head: Don't write us off
Williams technical director Patrick Head believes his team's championship bid should not be written off despite their disappointing start to the season.

Williams have claimed just one podium finish in the first five races and trail behind McLaren, Ferrari and Renault ahead of this weekend's Austrian GP.

But Head believes there is still time to turn things round.

"Anyone who writes us off at this moment doesn't know what Formula One is all about," he said.

"We are 19 points behind the leading team McLaren and a one-two finish can win you 18 points."

It made out I was giving him a hard time for his difficult performances at the start of the year but that was rubbish
Patrick Head on a letter written to Ralf Schumacher

Although Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya almost won for the team in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix before spinning in the closing laps, neither he or Ralf Schumacher have produced the results one would expect.

The German has finished in the points in every race but has yet to make the podium this season.

Schumacher was sent a letter around the time of the Malaysian Grand Prix which was said to have criticised his poor start to the season, particularly in qualifying sessions, but Head denied that was the content of the it.

"There was nothing in that letter that gave him a telling-off.

"It was made out that I was giving him a hard time for his difficult performances at the start of the year but that was rubbish, they were just words of encouragement."

Schumacher is currently two points ahead of Montoya in the championship on 17 points.

Head believes several "operational" mistakes have cost the team points so far this season and they are keen to eradicate tactical errors that have blighted their season.

The outfit finished runners up in the title race last year and both drivers attended a meeting at the team's headquarters on Wednesday in a bid to solve the problems ahead of this weekend's race at the A1-Ring.

The team has also received heavy criticism from its engine suppliers BMW, however, and the German manufacturers are not happy that they are being outperformed by rivals McLaren, who are powered by Mercedes-Benz, this season.

We are not happy with the position and the competitiveness we have at the moment
BMW motorsport director
Mario Theissen

The contract between Williams and BMW is up for renewal at the end of next year but the German company's motorsport director Mario Theissen insisted their partnership can continue if internal matters were resolved.

"We are not happy and saying 'we' I mean BMW as well as Williams. We are not happy with the position and the competitiveness we have at the moment and we have to talk about how to fix that," said Theissen.




AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX

SCHUMI ESCAPES TO VICTORY

TRACK GUIDE

2003 SEASON RACE BY RACE
 

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