Williams-BMW Talks Progressing, Says Theissen

The Williams Formula One team have moved a step closer towards a continuation of their partnership with German engine manufacturers BMW as talks go on ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix.

Williams-BMW Talks Progressing, Says Theissen

The Williams Formula One team have moved a step closer towards a continuation of their partnership with German engine manufacturers BMW as talks go on ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix.

The partnership is due for renewal before the end of 2004 and team chief Sir Frank Williams is in discussions with BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen in an effort to reach an agreement ahead of schedule.

BMW want more hands-on control of the Formula One team and have been met with resistance from Williams and his company partner Patrick Head - but Theissen suggested things have now moved forward.

"We're making progress," Theissen said. "We started out with the major points, now we're going more and more into detail. In the course of our talks we found out how complex the matter is to link everything in order."

The detail is taking significant discussion, however, as it is understood that BMW want to take over certain areas of car design while Williams are protesting against such moves because they believe they have better experience.

Theissen has already ruled out suggestions that BMW could withdraw from Formula One once their Williams contract is over and told ESPN: "The best possibility is to continue to work with Williams. We try to reach agreement on how the team will be made up, organised and managed, and what resources are necessary to take over at the top. These are the major points to discuss.

"If a partnership is to be continued, we both want to do it in a way that we can win the Championship. The most important matter is to combine the activities in Munich and Grove. If this process is completed successfully, it does no longer matter where you are to do your work. Any big company has several sites, and has to perfectly divide the work to be done.

"It might be that in the future some work will be done in Grove that has been done in Munich before and vice-versa. However, this is not our primary goal. We have to find the best possible organisation in order to optimise the workflow."

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