JANUARY 3, 2003
Williams and BMW
The big problem for BMW is that a commitment to start its own F1 team is a major undertaking and with the current uncertain times there would be risks involved. The biggest problem would seem to be the fact that there is currently no long-term political stability in the sport as it is not clear what will happen after the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2008. BMW is one of the companies involved in the GPWC but there serious question marks about whether this will actually happen.
BMW is by nature a cautious company - it took a lot of years to convince the firm that it should be back in F1 - and risk-taking has proved in the past to have serious consequences, notably the company's involvement in MG, which cost the firm a fortune. The signs are, therefore, that BMW will ultimately agree a new long term deal with Williams. The poor performance in 2002 and the worries about the BMW deal have led the team to take a good hard look at the way it operates and it is now in the process of revamping some of its technical departments, having realised that things needed to be changed. The team is confident that as these changes filter through the hierarchy the cars will become increasingly competitive and will be in a position to challenge Ferrari as the season progresses.