Is Williams trying to do a Brawn GP and sell the team to a manufacturer? Well, according to Autocar, which quotes German publication Bild, boss Frank Williams is dangling his F1 team in front of the Volkswagen Group, which is expected to enter the pinnacle of motor racing from 2013. Williams used to partner BMW before Munich bought into Sauber and currently uses Cosworth engines.
“We are stronger with a manufacturer than as a private team,” Williams told Bild. “No question. And of course we have an affinity with Germany. I remember well, quite early on, we went to the races with VW buses – we sometimes even slept in them. German cars are great. With Mercedes, Brawn won the title last year, and with McLaren in the previous year. And now they are up there with their own team.”
According to Bild, Williams, who sold a 20% stake in his team to Austrian investor and race driver Toto Wolff late last year, could sell his remaining stake to VW if Wolfsburg decides to enter the sport. VW’s motorsport chief Kris Nissen is said to want F1 to improve its image, drive down costs and improve its stability before the group commits itself. He was also quoted before saying that VW will continue to concentrate on its successful Dakar Rally programme for at least two more years. VW is currently the team to beat in Dakar after winning back-to-back editions since the race moved to South America.
VW’s involvement in single seater racing is currently limited to Formula 3 racing. It supplies 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines to teams in the Formula 3 Euro Series, ATS Formula 3 Cup and the British Formula 3 Championship.