Still room for the independent says Head


WilliamsF1 is widely seen as the last of the true independent F1 teams, English duo Frank Williams and Patrick Head resisting in true 'Canute style' any attempt to be swallowed up by one of the major manufacturers.

However, in view of the vast budgets and resources required, for how long can Williams, and indeed any other truly independent team, expect to remain in F1, and remain competitive?

"I suppose it depends on how good they are at generating their funding and whether they spend their money wisely," admits Head.

"I think if you looked at the Renault budget for last year, both engine and car, you'd find it probably only the fourth, fifth or sixth biggest budget out there. So efficiency is a very important part and equally, it's fairly well known, the sort of magnitude of money that we're paying Cosworth for the engine this year, it's certainly very much less than 20 million Euro, and I mean by a long way, and I would have to say that I'm very happy to be running a Cosworth engine. I think it's fully competitive and relative to some, a more than competitive engine and Cosworth are not making a loss on that engine.

"But as testing gets limited more, which inevitably it will, it will put more emphasis onto the simulation tools, both virtual and physical that you have within your facility," he continues. "And some of those simulation tools are pretty expensive and, as I mentioned beforehand, I'm not complaining about it but we had to de-bug our gearbox out on the track. It would have been much more efficient and much more clinical if we could have de-bugged it on a more sophisticated transmission dyno than we have available to us.

These sort of facilities will certainly, in the longer term, be very useful, but to be precise in terms of saying how long, I suppose it depends if Max is successful in what he has been talking about which is to try and reduce the slope of spend against performance."

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Published: 18/03/2006
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