Williams to run third car in 2006

Williams have said that they will run a third car on the Fridays of Grand Prix meetings next year, even though they are desperately trying to keep a lid on their expenses

Williams to run third car in 2006

The loss of manufacturer backing from BMW, and the added cost of needing to pay for their own engines in 2006, will mean that Williams' costs will increase next year with no guarantee of extra income.

And although running a third car will only add to Williams' outgoings, team boss Frank Williams has told Autosport-Atlas that they will stick with the extra car on Fridays now that it has been given the green-light by rival bosses.

The matter was debated in the Formula One Commission meeting on Monday and plans by the FIA to scrap the use of third cars for the bottom six teams in F1 were rejected.

"It is going to be a financial penalty that we are not particularly well equipped to handle, but we believe we have to participate in that and we will deal with it," he said.

With Williams having already decided to give test driver Nico Rosberg the second race-seat alongside Mark Webber, the team are now considering who will have their third driver role.

Antonio Pizzonia would be favourite for the position should he fail to land a race seat elsewhere, while pay drivers Christijan Albers, Narain Karthikeyan and Robert Doornbos have all been linked with the role.

"We will have to wait and see," said Williams when asked about who was likely to be given the job. "The choice of experienced ex-GP drivers is very limited and some of these guys are very expensive.

"Life as a truly independent team is materially different now. We've no sugar daddy to fall back on, not that we really every did, but BMW did give us the engine free, and free cars, and all of that does make a difference to one's budget."

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