Williams Confident of New Deal with BMW

Williams are confident of continuing their Formula One partnership with BMW after an existing deal expires at the end of 2004, team principal Frank Williams said today.

Williams Confident of New Deal with BMW

Williams are confident of continuing their Formula One partnership with BMW after an existing deal expires at the end of 2004, team principal Frank Williams said today.

"We had a long meeting with BMW yesterday on a contract and made a lot of progress. We believe we'll do a deal, we're hoping to do a deal. We're optimistic," he told reporters at the team factory.

Asked how long it might take, he replied: "A month or two. We've got some races in the way now."

The Formula One season starts in Australia on March 9 with Williams, former champions and runners-up overall last year, hoping to have narrowed the gap with runaway champions Ferrari.

"BMW have always been very long-term people," added Williams. "They may have another option like buy another team or start their own team but the latter would probably take them two or three years. They wouldn't want to come in and go to the back of the field."

Williams, nine times constructors' champions between 1980 and 1997, are starting the fourth year of their partnership with the German carmaker. They have already tightened up their partnership and invested heavily for the future, with Williams building a new wind tunnel and improved aerodynamics facilities.

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