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Williams to use Mercedes gearboxes?

NEWS STORY
03/08/2018

At a time Williams, along with Renault and McLaren, is threatening the proposed sale of the Force India team because it fears Mercedes could be involved in the process and the Silverstone-based outfit thereby become a B-team for the Silver Arrows, the Grove outfit is considering buying in its gearboxes from the German manufacturer along with its engines.

"Formula 1 is changing," Williams technical boss Paddy Lowe told the official F1 website. "Force India were one of the early ones to abandon the full constructor definition that teams had historically followed of essentially making everything except an engine.

"We've seen more and more teams adopting gearboxes from elsewhere," he continued. "Now we have the Haas model where you adopt everything that is not listed.

"We have our eyes open to all of those possibilities because we owe it to ourselves," he admitted. "You've got to move with the times and do the best thing for the performance of the team. But having said that, Williams has a strong culture of being an independent, being a constructor, not only in the parts we are responsible for but also we are making them in-house. We have a capacity of manufacturing on our own site and we've prided ourselves on that. I don't see us moving drastically away from that. But we remain open."

"We are in discussions about doing that," confirmed Toto Wolff. "They are an engine client of ours. It's not a huge thing to increase that to a gearbox.

"Nothing is signed, nothing is done," he insists, "and we need to decide in the next few weeks because the chassis design is at an advanced stage for Williams, so we'll see how that pans out."

In recent months, team boss Claire Williams has admitted that her team, currently last in the standings, is struggling, and its very future depends on the sport's owners successfully introducing a budget cap as well as plans to redistribute the prize fund more equally.

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