A quote from Frank Williams said: “At a time of great difficulty for us as a team, Toyota stepped forward and agreed to supply us with engines for 2007 through to the end of 2009.”
Toyota’s press release drew attention to the fact they scored more podiums than Williams over the course of their three-year partnership…
The question now is who Williams team up with next year. Earlier rumours pointed in the direction of Renault, who Williams won 63 of their 113 Grand Prix victories with.
But recent claims have suggested Williams could return to Cosworth, who they last partnered in 2006, and won races and championships with in the early eighties. That may well prove a more affordable soution, but there are doubts over how competitive Cosworth’s engines will be next year.
It surely spells the end for Kazuki Nakajima as a Williams driver. His place in the team owed more to his closeness to Toyota, and he is expected to leave along with Nico Rosberg to make way for Rubens Barrichello and Nico H?â??lkenberg.
With countryman Kamui Kobayashi making his debut for Toyota this weekend, Nakajima’s entire future in F1 could be at stake.
Williams press release
Williams F1 today confirmed that its engine partnership with Toyota will cease at the end of 2009.
Frank Williams, Team Principal, said ?óÔé¼?ôAt a time of great difficulty for us as a team, Toyota stepped forward and agreed to supply us with engines for 2007 through to the end of 2009. Toyota has been a very decent partner who have always respected our independence and provided us with a first-rate technical product. We are proud that we have been able to work with such a great company and we are grateful to the team in Cologne for their support. I would like to single out for our thanks the Toyota engineers and technicians who have worked within our race team tirelessly for the past three years.?óÔé¼?Ø
Williams will confirm its engine partner for 2010 in due course.
Toyota press release
Toyota Motorsport confirms it has reached agreement with Williams F1 to end its engine supply contract at the end of the 2009 Formula 1 season.
An extension of the contract, which began in 2007, was signed earlier this year but at the request of Williams F1, has been terminated by mutual agreement.
Tadashi Yamashina, Chairman of Toyota Motorsport, said: “We have enjoyed a productive working relationship with Williams and I believe both companies have benefited from that partnership. We respect the wishes of Williams to look for other opportunities and wish them well for the future.”
Since the partnership began, Toyota engines have powered 10 podium finishes; three for AT&T Williams and seven for Panasonic Toyota Racing.