Williams has expanded its technical collaboration with Mercedes – to include the supply of gearboxes and related hydraulic components.
Historically, Williams has built its own gearboxes and hydraulics in-house, however, the increased partnership will enable Williams to implement a more efficient design and manufacturing process in-house in the long-term, allowing the team to focus its resources more effectively in other performance areas.
On can argue that this makes Williams something of a customer of team – but at the same time it means that the celebrated team will survive – which should not be taken for granted. Williams is a terrific F1 brand but we live in an era when brands can die very easily. Having Mercedes technology means that the famous team has the chance to battle with Mercedes, Aston Martin Racing and McLaren for success. Being out on its own was not a geat option…
“It makes sense in terms of economies of scale to supply another team under the new rules,” said Toto Wolff. “This is a project we have been discussing with Williams for some time and I am glad we have been able to bring this extension to fruition.”
Williams may noy be able to fight directly with the top teams in 2021 – it has fallen away behind – but it is a move in the right direction, which should be applauded.
“Williams is an independent team, but Formula 1 is always evolving, and as a team we must be agile to react to the current climate in order to put the team in the best position to be competitive on track,” said team principal Simon Roberts. “This long-term agreement with Mercedes is a positive step and forms part of our strategic objectives for the future whilst we will still retain our design and manufacturing capabilities in-house.”