Despite reports that the Glove-based outfit was actually considering a switch to Renault power, Claire Williams was adamant that her team didn’t contact Renault regarding any future engine deals.
“I saw the speculation. We aren’t talking to Renault. We are talking to Mercedes, as you probably expect, and those conversations are going well,” she said in an interview with Autosport. “We hope to be able to conclude a new partnership with them going into 2021. They have been a fantastic partner of ours.”
The Williams exec went on to add that while her team has had a great history with Renault, their future is with Mercedes, which has been very supportive throughout the years.
“They have been very, very supportive and everybody knows that Toto [Wolff] started his F1 career at Williams, and as such we have a great relationship with him. I would like that relationship to continue.”
One issue that still has to be sorted out is whether or not a new engine deal with Mercedes will also include the supply of other key components such as the gearbox or suspension system. For example, Williams could have taken Mercedes’ gearbox for 2019, but in the end decided to go with their own version.
“We went through a process of evaluation last year,” said Williams. “We are doing the same thing this year, off the back of what happened to us in testing, to work out what we should make versus buy. But it is all just dependent on the capacity we have at Williams and what we do best versus what other people may do better.”
“But 2021 will bring a shift with how teams can collaborate anyway and we want to dial down those collaborations.”