Williams F1 dumping Toyota engine?

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Toyota’s John Howett said:

“We are happy to supply Williams, they don’t want our engine,” he said at the Japanese Grand Prix.

“We have a binding agreement for next year and they have asked us to release them. Our position is that if they don’t want it then fine, we are talking to other people for a supply,” he added.

“If Williams want the engine, it’s still available but I think now we have separated for various reasons.”

The logical jump to conclusions is that Williams F1 have decided to use the Cosworth option as they were playing footsie with Max Mosley earlier this summer in breaking from FOTA, signing the 2010 FIA application and more than likely ascribed to Mosley’s strong desire that teams, especially new ones, use the Cosworth engine option.

Understandable if you consider that Mosley needed 4-5 teams to opt for the Cosworth option to make the program feasible financially for Cosworth but many have suggested the Cosworth is seriously down on performance compared the today’s Mercedes engine. Leaving one to scratch their heads as to why Williams would jettison the Toyota which has given them some good results this year in favor for Cosworth which is completely untested.

To be honest, I have always liked Sir Frank and the operation but the actions the team has taken over the last few years is really leaving me stumped. They are always taking the con position to conventional feelings amongst most teams, breaking with FOTA, denying the stoppage of KERS use in 2010, protesting the test for Schumi, protesting the additional of the Hinwill-based Sauber team a spot on the grid (14 teams), always working against Ferrari in just about every facet and just otherwise being on the opposite position to most initiatives.

I love Williams F1 but unfortunately from a brand equity stand point, their protestations are rarely explained by the team and so the logic is lost leaving only the appearance of a grumpy team always throwing the toys out of the pram. I don’t think that’s who Williams really are but it’s hard, as a fan, to understand many of their contrary positions to F1 initiatives and the least common denominator seems to be their appeasement of the FIA which in it’s own right has connotations.

What would help? I think Williams F1 could use some PR moves to help explain their position. It is rare that Sir Frank or Patrick or Adam would make decisions that weren’t sound and for the best for Williams. It’s just hard to know those nuances and perceptively they come off as real curmudgeons. They are a terrific team with a pedigree and penchant for brilliance…just let us know how that brilliance is working and why.

Keep in mind that the Cosworth angle is supposition from me at this point. They may have a contract with them but I have not seen a confirmation from the team yet. They could show up in Oz with A Renault, I have no way of knowing.

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