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Williams says engine suspicions unfounded

Formula One figures worried that their rivals have edged ahead in the power stakes despite the sport's engine freeze have no grounds for complaints, claims veteran team boss Frank Williams

Renault boss Flavio Briatore prompted big discussions about the possibility of teams exploiting the engine freeze when he suggested his team had lost out by not developing their engine.

"Renault have stuck to the letter of the current regulations on frozen engines, and we've been buggered: others didn't do that and are far ahead, while we suffer," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's not fair."

Despite Briatore's comments, his manufacturer rivals all dismissed claims that improvements they had made were outside the spirit of the freeze.

Williams said he believed some teams had made advances with their engines since the freeze began, but did not feel any of the work was a deliberate bid to get around the regulations.

"It is a sensitive subject," admitted Williams. "This is purely anecdotal, second or even third hand, but there is a story that one of the Red Bull drivers jumped out of his Renault car and drove the Ferrari car and said, 'bloody hell!' True or false, I don't know. And that is not to point the figure at Ferrari.

"How it works is that you blueprint your engine when you first run it, you send the blueprint in and the FIA keep it. Then, if halfway through (the season) your piston rings are causing you trouble and you've broken so many, you can request, with evidence, that you are in trouble and the FIA will let you change the piston ring, or this or that.

"I think some people are braver than others, saying, 'this has gone wrong and I need to change it.' No one is cheating, but some people are better at bending the rules and knowing where to stop bending, than people who would never dream of even trying to squeeze something."

When asked if he felt there were any grounds for a complaint to be lodged with the FIA, Williams said: "We have not the slightest reason at all. Some engines are better than others, but that is life."

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