Formula 1 16 Aug 2005 09:59 pm

WilliamsF1 to use Cosworth engines in 2006

The news is out — check any F1 web site for the official press release — WilliamsF1 is using Cosworth V8 engines in 2006.

The spin is pretty predictable:
* in depth cooperation on various ‘more-than-just-the-engine’ systems
* Cosworth has a great V8 heritage
* looking forward to working together
* yadda yadda yadda.

The press release is just as revealing in what it does not say. The Cosworth deal is only for 2006. What happens in 2007?

Pit-lane rumours suggest that the deal is already done for Williams to use Toyota power in 2007 and beyond. The rumour says that Toyota is unable to ramp up to supplying two top-tier teams in 2006 (as well as back-marker team Jordan/Midland), so Williams has to wait. Scuttlebutt has it that in 2007, we’ll see Williams-Lexus on the grid.

I’m intrigued that a couple of other options haven’t had a good run. Of course, just because I can dream these up doesn’t make them practical. What do you think of these:

Option 1:

Williams buys Jordan to get hold of the Toyota engines for 2005. This could have played out in a few ways:
* Williams uses Toyota, Jordan gets Cosworth
* Sam Michael gets a ‘promotion’ to Team Principal at Jordan, and Frank gets Patrick Head back as Technical Director at WilliamsF1 (a post from which, apparently, BMW insisted that he be removed)
* Williams on-sells Jordan in a year or two once the new F1 rules have settled down.

Option 2:

Williams trades Jenson Button to BAR-Honda for a supply of factory Honda V8s. Don’t forget, Williams has a history of success with Honda, and this scenario would also have allowed:
* Jenson to stay where he apparently wants to stay
* Williams to get a good engine without having a driver who would really rather be somewhere else.

I can’t help but feel that 2006 will be a mid-field year (at best) for Williams, which is a great shame for the team in general and Mark Webber in particular. I hope that I’m being overly pessimistic.

What do you make of all of this?

3 Responses to “WilliamsF1 to use Cosworth engines in 2006”

  1. on 17 Aug 2005 at 9:17 (Sydney) 1.Darren Leffler said …

    The strategist at work! You assume there is enough money in Williams to buy Jordan – how much would it take to buy Jordan? And as for Cosworth, hope it is just gap year thing.

  2. on 17 Aug 2005 at 22:16 (Sydney) 2.Richard said …

    You wouldn’t think more than abt $10m to $20m for Jordan. FW could do it easily if it made sense.

    It’ll be interesting to see how well Williams does with sponsorship for 2006. Presumably they have some other arrangements in place for 2007 that can’t be made public but that will be revealed to sponsors.

    I too hope Cosworth is just a gap year thing. Some say that they have a one year opportunity to do well — on the assumption that the big guys will take a while to get it right. Remember the Repco-powered Brabhams??

  3. on 18 Aug 2005 at 14:55 (Sydney) 3.Darren Leffler said …

    Do I remember Jack’s Repco Brabhams? I was only born in ’68 so I don’t have a personal recollection of 66/67(?), but it stands out in the history books as a great achievement in a time when things were perhaps a little simpler. I can’t see that happening ever again. Even in V8 the days of the Percy/Grice engineer/mechanic/driver seem to have gone. Jack’s Aussie assult was amazing.