BMW and Williams extend partnership

BMW has extended its partnership with the Williams team until the end of 2009, in a new deal that will see the two firm's work closer together in their efforts to win the world championship

BMW and Williams extend partnership

The new five-year deal was announced at the Nurburgring today (Friday), and both sides have declared themselves pleased with to have secured a long-term extension. There has been much speculation on the future of the partnership, with persistent rumours that BMW was going to split with Williams and start its own F1 team.

"We are very pleased to have placed collaboration with WilliamsF1 on a sound and long-term basis," said Dr Burkhard Goschel, the BMW board member responsible for its F1 project. "This new contract envisages enhanced integration between the two partners.

"As an automobile manufacturer, we have options that are simply not open to a racing team and we need to join together in exploiting these possibilities. By the same token, this is all about supporting the specialist expertise of one of the most successful teams in the history of Formula 1, harnessing that expertise and achieving perfect integration.

"We are convinced that this alignment will lay the foundation stone for the future success of this project."

Williams owner Frank Williams said: "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. When added together with the technical competence and determination to win at WilliamsF1, I believe that this relationship will yield significant dividends."

Mario Theissen acknowledged the length of time it took the two firms to agree a contract. He said: "These contractual negotiations were protracted, but we were happy to take the time that was necessary in order to clarify all the issues in detail."

According to Theissen, the first joint development project BMW and Williams are to undertake will be based on the drive train and gearbox of the car.

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Williams, BMW Extend Partnership Until 2009
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