Williams revives Renault partnership

Williams has announced that they are set to revive their legendary engine tie-up with Renault with a two-year deal effective from 2012. 
The supply deal will make Williams the fourth team on the grid to use Renault power, with Red Bull, Team Lotus and Renault all using the same units.
Renault supplied engines to Formula One’s third-oldest team between 1989 and 1999, during which time Williams won 63 races, five constructors’ and four drivers’ championships.
The original engine supply deal coincided with Adrian Newey’s time as chief designer. It was the team’s most successful period, and one that FW14B and FW15C – regarded as amongst the most technologically advanced cars the sport has even seen, winning the 1992 and 1993 World Championships.
‘The partnership is an exciting opportunity for both Renault Sport F1 and AT&T Williams,’ said Williams via press release.

Sir Frank Williams with Bernard Fey

‘It [the partnership] produced some of the most evocative images of the 1990s, including Nigel Mansell’s British Grand Prix win in 1992; Alain Prost’s fourth world title and the classic duels between Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher.’
Team principal and founder Sir Frank Williams said of the deal: ‘We are delighted and excited by our new partnership with Renault. This reunites the F1 team with a leading car manufacturer and complements our new relationship with Jaguar.’
‘At the same time, we are grateful to Cosworth: they have been a fair and reliable partner both on and off the track for the past two years and we look forward to working with them across our business in the future.’
‘Our previous relationship with Renault was one of the most successful in Williams’ history but we will not allow ourselves to dwell too much on the past.
‘We must look to the future and continue to re-build our on-track reputation, which I am hopeful that today’s announcement will help us to do.’
Williams Chairman Adam Parr added that ‘for Williams, it has been a strategic priority to align ourselves with world-class automotive companies.’
‘Just two months ago we announced our partnership with Jaguar to create the C-X75 supercar together. Today, we have announced a partnership with Renault: they are not only making a Championship-winning engine, but they are independent, totally committed to Formula One and, of course, there is a resonance and heritage to Williams-Renault that creates a real buzz for both of us.’
Williams ran Toyota engines between 2007 and 2009, but the Japanese manufacturer’s decision to pull out of the sport resulted in the team entering into a contract with Cosworth, who were returning to Formula One after a three-year absence.
Despite their high hopes for 2011, Williams have had a thus-far disappointing season with only two ninth-place finishes to their name, accuring a total of four points. They lie ninth in the championship standings.
Their poor performance has been coupled with the loss a number of sponsors, with the only major sponsorship signing during that time being Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.
This year has also seen the company floated on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where their share prices have gradually fallen.
Their deal with Renault represents a step forward for 2012 as the team looks to divert its attention to its 2012 challenger and build up to future success.
‘We have a very capable Design Office led by Ed Wood and they will be working with Renault’s technicians, who are some of the finest in the world,’ continued Parr.

‘We must look to the future and continue to re-build our on-track reputation, which I am hopeful that today’s announcement will help us to do.’

-Sir Frank Williams

‘Development of the FW34 is progressing well and the timing is not going to be an issue for the team.
‘This announcement also coincides well with the recruitment of Mike Coughlan, Jason Somerville and Mark Gillan to the technical team. Together with Ed Wood, we believe we have now the right technical leadership and engine to help us take the next step.
Renault Sport F1 president Bernard Rey sees the new deal as an important opportunity to align the engine supplier with a successful now that they no longer exist as a manufacturer.
‘Williams has recently taken several important steps, both commercially and technically, to update its operations and we feel that this partnership is another important step in its rigorous plan,’ said Bernard Rey, president of Renault Sport F1. ‘It reiterates how determined the team is to achieve results, which matches perfectly with our own objectives.’
‘Of course there’s also a great pride in reviving the Williams-Renault name. Together, we produced racing cars that are recognised for their technical innovation and it is still Renault’s most successful period in F1 to date. It’s a hugely exciting opportunity for both Renault and Williams.’ 

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