No team orders at Williams

Frank Williams and Patrick Head have confirmed that there will be no team orders within the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, even though it runs the risk of its drivers taking points off each other with the championship fight being so close between Williams, Ferrari and McLaren

No team orders at Williams

Schumacher has scored two wins and a second place in the last three races and is now only 11 points behind his brother Michael, the championship leader. But the top brass at WilliamsF1 have long employed a policy of no team orders and are perceived to have lost the 1986 drivers' title by allowing Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet to battle with each other while Alain Prost sneaked ahead to steal the title.

"We do remember 1986 but our contracts do not allow us to give preference to one driver over the other," said Head, "and we have never attempted to negotiate such deals. The only position where the situation could arise is when one driver can win the championship and the other can't. But we are a long way off that.

"We have a different philosophy to Ferrari. The championship and motor racing is more important than a single company. Ferrari don't hold that view. Our philosophy is similar to McLaren's and that allowed past championships - when McLaren and Williams have been dominant - to be interesting as opposed to being dull, like last year."

Both Head and Williams believe that Schumacher has upped his game this season and that he has a realistic chance of winning the title, but that does not mean that it will be easy. Williams hinted that the team had deliberately used the press to spur on its driver: "He must have read the comments that were written, carefully drip fed by Williams, that he was a bit too inconsistent at the end of the year.

"But at the end of the day, the driver sorts himself out and he has done a grand job. If he gets very consistent and applies himself to the business of winning he will be a regular winner."

Head agrees but reckons that the season is some way from being over yet. "At this stage of the season there are no foregone conclusions and I believe that it will be a hard-fought battle all the way to the end of the year," he said. "Ralf is enjoying driving the car more now the balance is better and he is working hard but then so is Juan (Montoya).

"We have a challenge ahead of us so it should be fun and I'm sure it will be a scrap right to the end."

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