Posted on October 30, 2009
Williams announces Cosworth deal, driver news to follow | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Sir Frank Williams has confirmed that his team will use the Cosworth engine next season and is set to announce his driver line up of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg on Monday.

Williams: Oldest boss but still looking forwards

Williams: Oldest boss but still looking forwards


All three decisions show that Williams is pointing forwards with confidence. This weekend they have announced a strategic tie up here in the Middle East with the Qatar Science and Technology Park, where Williams will establish a Williams Technology Centre.

Two F1 related R&D programmes will be carried out there; one into the flywheel energy regeneration system they have been working on for a couple of years now, the other developing a simulator for race and road use. Williams and QSTP will jointly fund the centre and with share commercial revenues. It underlines the assertion I’ve been making for some time that Williams is a team of the future.

Judging from the wording of today’s announcement by Williams, which came out shortly after Williams spoke to Gulf News and let the cat out of the bag, the Williams/Cosworth tie up is also part of this wider technological development programme Williams is working on.

“We’ve finished our contract with Toyota and we’ve moved on to a British engine manufacturer Cosworth with whom we have won many world championships in the past,” Williams told the Gulf News.

“They are 50 miles away from Williams which is very convenient. Besides we also like our independence. We will be not under the influence, not that Toyota ever bossed around, but we’ve just gone a private and independent route.”

Cosworth’s F1 general manager Mark Gallagher said,“Cosworth is delighted to
be renewing our partnership with Williams. We look forward to forging a long-standing
relationship, not only for the supply of competitive Formula One engines, but also in the joint
development of new technologies that have wider application outside of Formula One. ”

The last sentence is the key one. Williams is thinking beyond F1 and you can also see how an international technology company with an F1 team at the heart of it makes Williams a very attractive proposition for a possible sale to a manufacturer or an automotive venture capital firm at some point down the line when Sir Frank decides it is time to stop.

As for the drivers, Williams said that it was time for Nico Rosberg to move on as he had been with the team “quite a long time”.

He hinted that Rosberg’s next move is to a Mercedes powered team,
“Nico is German and Mercedes need at least one German driver to sit before their engine, ” he said. The smart money is still on that team being Brawn, rather than McLaren.

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Williams announces Cosworth deal, driver news to follow
19 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Neil Williams
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 4:16 pm 

    This could be an inspired move for both the F1 team and the future of Williams as a company. Sir Frank is not getting any younger and he will have to hang up his hat at some point. What better way to leave the company to the next generation than it being at the cutting edge of motorsport technology and innovation?

    The cossie of 2006 was powerful but fragile, the detune required to limit to 18000 rpm should be a huge plus as is having until next March to hone the engine when others are frozen. If they can get the balance between power and fuel economy right, Williams could be a winner again. Rubens may yet get his hands on a world title if they can do a Brawn and catch everyone napping in the first half of the season.

    I take my hat off to you, Sir Frank. A legend you will always be.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Michael Grievson
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 4:46 pm 

    I really really hope to see williams back at tge front. Now where seeing less manufactures out there it may happen

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Brace
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 4:46 pm 

    he can look forward as much as he wants but that cosworth will hardly get him there.
    by the way, wasn’t it patrick head or someone from the williams team who just months ago said cosworth will be so far behind other engines that even extra horsepower wouldn’t help it?

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: rmstrong
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 5:34 pm 

    Ive always liked Williams even if some of their decisions were questionable to me. They do have an independence about them that is lost from Maclaren. Rubens should do well there and I hope they do give him a 2 year deal. I think Hulk will be a force to be reckoned with in time. RB can make this guy a champion if they work well together.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Mr G
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 5:44 pm 

    I can see the general feeling of the indipendent starting to change.
    McLaren has started to built road cars on the back of a succesful F1 team, Williams is now considering evolving F1 technologies for road users.
    I think this differetn approach to F1 will be the winning formula, F1 should be the pinnacle of motorsport and whatever constructor will take to the edge in an F1 car, should be good enough for road cars.
    I hope Todt will try to push this in his new reign as supremo of F1, I think it is definately the way forward for F1.
    The 2009 season has been regarded from the outside pubblic as full of scandals, full of egos, full of waste (Kers).
    But we capped budgets, with Teams looking to pay drivers as little as possible, with more importance in the green issue, I think F1 in 3-5 years will be regarded as a model for any other sport / spectacle.
    Maybe the manufacurer like Toyota, Renault and BMW are pulling out of F1 or scaling down their interests in F1, but I think it could be wrong time.
    With a cleaner F1, no scandals, no super egos like Flavio, and with a more approachable teams and team managers, it could become the supreme circus that it is now without the bad taste of overpaid, overexcited and over the top prima donnas.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: monktonnik
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 7:30 pm 

    I always wondered what you were getting at James when you were talking about Williams being on the up. I can see your point now.

    This is why we need privateers and entrepreneurs in F1 rather than manufacturers. I sort of feel that the big boys tend to invest in infrastructure, but the smaller guys innovate and think outside the box.

    I think that since the idea of a flywheel KERS system was mooted as the basis of the next engine formula, it was abvious that Williams would have to leave Toyota as they are the only team developing that technology. I think that if they go into developing that with Cosworth we could well see a strong partnership in the future. Perhaps Jenson shouldn’t have done away with that contract after all :)

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Jason C
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 9:52 pm 

    Is Rubens really a Williams style driver? He has to be quite happy in his team to perform, doesn’t he, and I thought Williams were more of a ‘get out there and get on with it’ style of team.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Paul
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 10:10 pm 

    Reading between the lines, the decision to drop Toyota power was driven by not wanting to be lumbered with Nakajima. I wonder if Renault would have insisted in putting Grosjean or di Grassi in the car if Williams were to have used Renault engines?

    It is promising that an established team have shown faith in Cosworth producing a competitive engine for next year, especially as Williams were openly critical of Cosworth after 2006.

    Are Red Bull likely to run Cosworths next year as well?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    They have a very aggressive car design for next year but the delay in deciding the engine is going to cost them soon. They really want to run Mercedes, but the rules do not allow it at present and none of the Mercedes teams are dropping out.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: onyx
        Date: October 30th, 2009 @ 11:18 pm 

    Poor old Frank.. Cosworth?Is he serious?!The beginning of the end…

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: F1 Kitteh
        Date: October 31st, 2009 @ 1:02 am 

    It looks like Sir Frank’s foresight will ensure that Williams will thrive for years to come, couldn’t be happier for them! They have turned the corner with the end of manufacturer era and the resource capping should in theory be beneficial for the ‘smaller’ teams ? Hopefully they will come up with a winner next year to show all the kiddies who thinks he is just a whiny old man that objects to everything for the sake of it.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Stephen
        Date: October 31st, 2009 @ 1:49 am 

    If Williams-F1 do make this change to technology focused F1+other thats great. Clearly taking the lead from McLaren, it can only help them, even if it takes a while.

    That said, I think flywheel technology is bogus – too many gyroscopic effects to be useful, quite apart from it being a kinetic energy bomb should it fail.

    So far we’ve only seen two KERs solutions:
    1) KERS:battery
    2) KERS:flywheel

    That surprises me. Why haven’t we seen
    KERS:compressed air?

    You’re probably thinking “what the $%&^”. Well the reason I mention it is that both battery and flywheel options carry around a chunk of deadweight (battery, flywheel) and the flywheel, as it stores more energy, increases its unfortunate gyroscopic effect on the car (this may turn out to be a good thing, depending on how its integrated into the car, but for now I’m assuming it will be a bad thing).

    There is a “green” car that was announced some time ago that runs on compressed air. It could travel quite some distance on one “charge” of compressed air and of course it didn’t have the downside of a heavy raft of batteries for the electric car equivalent.

    So if you had a KERS that compressed air, you could compress quite a lot of air, not increase the car weight too much (compressing more air into a given volume will increase weight) and you should be able to release it in a sufficient manner to add more power.

    Plus, once discharged, the compressed air KERS weighs its minimum amount.

    So, James, has compressed air been discussed by anyone and discarded? Or they didn’t even get around to considering it.

    [Reply]

    Ross Dixon Reply:

    That sounds very interesting. I would be interested to hear if teams had looked into that. I think its a shame about KERS. All they would have to do to make it worthwhile is make it unlimited. If someone can make their system more efficient at transfering energy into stored power then they should get a good advantage. At the moment Mclaren’s system may be able to store enough energy per lap to be used at 100bhp for 10 seconds but under the rules they can only use 80bhp for 7. So instead of trying to make the system even more efficient and powerful (which could then be used for more fuel savings in road cars) they are just trying to take weight out of their system. I can’t wait for smaller engines but with much bigger KERS gains in a few years. Then we will be back to technological developments in engine technology again, something F1 has missed over the last few years.

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    Cliff Reply:

    Stephen, as James says, the KERS Flywheel has been in development for a number of years. Crucilaly for Williams an number of Bus and Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers have expressed an interest in the concept. The technology may also be transferable to trains. My understanding is that no-one has dismissed Williams ideas. If Williams makes their KERS Flywheel work, busses and similar vehicles will use this technology, because of the reduced emmisions and it keeps the ‘Geen Lobby’ happy. With Governments trying to get us out of our cars and on to public transport, Frank may have got the jump on the others this time.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Martin
        Date: October 31st, 2009 @ 2:51 am 

    Frank’s reading of the driver market is interesting, although I could be reading too much into it. I guess we can ignore Sutil at Force India as it isn’t doesn’t have the Mercedes investment that Brawn and McLaren have, although the McLaren B-team factor makes it a 40 per cent Mercedes B-team.

    There has been speculation on this site as to where Heidfeld will end up. Compared to Rosberg, Heidfeld has the advantage in having had a highly regarded team mate in Kubica. Rosberg hasn’t had to deal with a team mate beating him since his first season, so there is there is an area of doubt in how he needs to be be managed if he has a quicker team mate, which is not unlikely if it is Hamilton or Button.

    Where Kovalainen ends up is another unknown. I think he might end up as the senior driver at one of the new teams.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Darren
        Date: October 31st, 2009 @ 4:50 am 

    im a big big fan of frank, other than Lotus this is the team that mean more, fiat and the other multi billion $ companys come and go but frank is the man,

    good luck for next year frank,

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Robin Capper
        Date: October 31st, 2009 @ 10:02 pm 

    So Toyota are pulling out…

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Carl M
        Date: October 31st, 2009 @ 11:17 pm 

    hopefully this time they will have the necessary power otherwise they will be going backwards after an alright season.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Werewolf
        Date: November 1st, 2009 @ 1:36 am 

    Back from hols!

    I remember being disappointed when Williams dropped Cosworth for Toyota. Although the Cosworth was not the most reliable engine, its potential seemed considerable and I thought Williams had made an error in not helping to develop that.

    Preferred partner status should be beneficial to that of mere customer, so assuming that is what Williams has signed up to, the Cosworth deal makes sense, especially over Toyota who, with the best will in the world, have consistently under performed per dollar.

    [Reply]

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