Williams and Toyota officially part ways

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No more Toyota at Williams - and probably no Nakajima either

Two press releases appeared within half an hour of each other today – the first from Williams confirming it will not use Toyota engines in 2010, and the second from Toyota affirming the development.

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 Hulkenberg.

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 ??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 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.??

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.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Williams and Toyota officially part ways”

  1. This is good news.

    No Kazuki! Good riddance.

    I feel that Williams tying up with Cosworth is a step backwards. Going with Renault might be a better option, considering the rich history they’ve had with the French. Williams have built a decent car this year, the engine hasn’t been that great, a Renault power plant will be ideal for them to get on the podium regularly.

    Lets all hope its going to be Williams Renault F1, it’ll be a throw back to the old days!

    1. Agreed.

      Apart from Red Bull’s issues with reliability, which may boil down simply to installation problems (this is a car whose electrics used to cut out on hitting a particularly nasty bump, don’t forget!), Renault have been a proven quantity this year, if not as good as Ferrari and Mercedes. Cosworth is an unknown and a gamble.

      Even if it somehow ended up being a better choice than the Renault, Williams would still probably have a better chassis than the new teams will to compensate for it. If they go to Cosworth and it’s as down on power and reliability as expected, they’ll fall further behind the big teams and podiums will become a dream rather than the good chances they’ve had under Nico Rosberg this year.

    2. The Sri Lankan
      17th October 2009, 11:29

      WIlliams Didnt build a great car this year. they havent even cometed iin the same levels of success the factory toyotas had. stop believing in this mythical Renault/williams coronation. i reckon it will be a disaster

  2. There are rumors about Williams and Cosworth ”exchanging” shares with Cosworth becoming third shareholder (with sir Frank and Patrick Head). Engine freeze will undoubtedly help them in playing catch up, we shall see how it will turn out.

  3. HounslowBusGarage
    15th October 2009, 12:36

    I may have missed something, but has Toyota actually confirmed anything – drivers etc- for next year?

  4. I can’t believe that even FW’s penny-pinching would lead to them sticking an uncompetitive lump of iron in the back of their car surely?

    1. Maybe he knows something that isn’t publicly known about Toyota’s future in F1. And penny-pinching atm is essential for survival of the team.

      @Hounslow they won’t extend the deal with either Trulli or Glock, maybe they’ll pull a Super Aguri and sign Nakajima and Kobayashi.

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