Sponsor Expects BMW and Williams to Agree New Deal

Williams' Formula One title sponsors Hewlett-Packard expect the team to continue with engine partner BMW after the end of their current deal in 2004.

Sponsor Expects BMW and Williams to Agree New Deal

Williams' Formula One title sponsors Hewlett-Packard expect the team to continue with engine partner BMW after the end of their current deal in 2004.

"It's important for us that BMW and Williams do continue their contract," HP's corporate sponsorship and global F1 director Andrew Collis told Reuters at a sports business conference on Tuesday.

"It's not a deal breaker at the moment for us, we'd have to look at it if the time came, but I'm pretty confident that they are going to do a deal together," he said. "It looks very strong, it makes sense for both parties."

Williams, who won the last Monaco Grand Prix with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, and BMW have been negotiating for months about extending a deal that expires at the end of next year.

BMW's motorsport director Mario Theissen recently ruled out the chances of the German manufacturer quitting the sport, but said there were still other options such as linking up with another team or starting their own.

HP last year completed a merger with Compaq, the computer brand that was previously featured on the Williams cars, and still has agreements with Jordan and Jaguar under existing contracts.

Collis suggested those two deals were unlikely to be renewed once they expired.

"It wouldn't be normal for a brand to have three F1 sponsorships unless it was part of a strategy that you were going to underpin the IT (information technology) up and down the paddock," he said. "That isn't part of our strategy.

"We want to use F1 for building our brand and the vehicle for building our brand is the BMW-WilliamsF1 team. We're supporting Jordan and Jaguar as we are contracted to do so and as partners of ours historically we don't walk away. We continue to fulfil our obligations. I can't say whether we will renew or not but it wouldn't be consistent."

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