BMW Open to Talks with Other Teams

Formula One engine manufacturers BMW said today that they have options to continue in the sport with "other teams" if they cannot agree on a deal with current partners Williams.

BMW Open to Talks with Other Teams

Formula One engine manufacturers BMW said today that they have options to continue in the sport with "other teams" if they cannot agree on a deal with current partners Williams.

"We want another contract with a team and Williams are first choice but we do have the option of working with others," a spokesman for the team said. "If we agree to stay with Williams then the other options are gone, but if not then we will look at those other options. We want to get more influence in the team."

The German company confirmed at last Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix that they will stay in Formula One beyond their current contract with Williams, which will end at the end of 2004.

Williams finished runners-up to Ferrari in last year's title race but BMW are rumoured to be unhappy with the performance of the Grove-based outfit's cars in the first five races of this season.

BMW have seen both Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes, their two closest rivals, claim two wins each and even newcomers Renault have moved ahead of them in the Championship to push them down to fourth place. After finishing on the podium 13 times last season they have only made it into the top three once in five races this year through Juan Pablo Montoya's second place in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.

Jordan are currently the highest placed non-manufacturer team on the grid after Italian Giancarlo Fisichella's surprise victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix and Sauber and Minardi are the only other squads not currently with a manufacturer.

Gerhard Berger, BMW's motorsport director, has admitted there are problems but the BMW spokesman added: "We are very optimistic in that but if it does not work there are other alternatives. Gerhard has said before that we are a team and we support everyone in the team, but the general direction is that the team is lacking in performance and it is more or less down to the aerodynamics."

The company have also said that they have "ideas" for their own car but they would have to begin designing it at least at the start of next year if they were to have any hope of being ready to compete with it in 2005.

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