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Michael: Williams will fight for 2006 title

Williams Technical Director Sam Michael has made clear that his team will not be treating 2006 as a transition year, stating the grove-based outfit will look to challenge for the championship title despite their current low position

Williams endured their worst season since 1999, finishing fifth in the Constructors' Championship. And, after losing BMW and opting for a one-year deal with Cosworth - as well as switching to Bridgestone tyres - their 2006 season was seen to be a regrouping period before 2007.

Speaking exclusively to autosport.com, Michael was adamant this would not be the case.

"We need to get to the front as quickly as we can," Michael said. "We want to make sure we can try to win races again. We are going into 2006 to try to win the championship, that is what our partners understand, Cosworth, Bridgestone.

"It is clear we are not there to make up the numbers, we are not there to have building years to come back in 2007 or 2008, that is not what we are about. We are focused on winning the championship in 2006."

Michael further admitted the team's performance this season was affected by the growing rift between Williams and BMW, which culminated in the German company's decision to buy the Sauber team and part ways with Williams.

"It hurt the development of the car," Michael said. "Things like traction control, where it is heavily integrated between the engine and the gearbox, and that has been a struggle to improve that, and that is related to the [poor race] starts.

"I never saw BMW as a burden or anything like that, at the end of the day they are an engineering company pushing as well, but they have just decided to go a different route.

"Now we will team up with Cosworth and do the same thing, but hopefully we will do a better job than we have done with BMW, and we are focusing on that now."

Read the full interview with Sam Michael in the Weekly Journal

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