News and views on motorsports

Monday, May 23, 2005

Mark Webber and Williams

Mark Webber, despite scoring his first ever podium and the best result of his career, didn't seem very pleased with it as he got out of the car and stepped up to the podium. story here. More team quotes here.

Of course, Mark had a very bad start to the race but given those circumstances you would have thought he'd be doubly pleased. I think the real problem was that he got beaten by his teammate. Especially since Nick managed to get by him with the aid of an earlier pitstop. I think Mark simply couldn't stand to be beaten by someone who could really be counted as Williams number two.

All credit to Nick Heidfeld. This is the second podium he's bagged for Williams BMW. He looked happier on the podium than Mark but only slightly mind you. Ever the cool understated chap.

Speaking of Williams, former BMW Motorsport director Gerhard Berger is predicting a split between the Grove team and its Munchen based engine partner. That's the feel he's getting apparently from meeting 'from time to time' with his former colleagues at BMW.

This adds to the numerous speculations in the past few weeks regarding this issue. Conflicting statements from the team, Sam Michael asserts that they will be continuing their relationship with BMW here. Frank Williams saying that he doesn't really know the full situation with Sauber here. Patrick Head refusing to comment in this story here.

To be fair, they aren't mentioning anything about a split between themselves and BMW but that the eventual outcome with Sauber is still unknown. Anything could happen though. There are many unhappy people in Munich as Gerhard suggests and I wouldn't bet against a split between these two parties. Mario Thiessen is said to be keeping a 'careful eye' on Grove.

But is buying up Sauber a good option? They do have good facilities but as we have found out from one of their drivers, they face a severe lack of funds. Something I would imagine, there is no shortage of at BMW. But there's no denying that BMW want to remain at the top flight of the sport. From an image standpoint, it would hurt them if they turned tail and ran away now. Especially since their deadly Stuttgart rivals are winning again and BMW have yet to win a single championship in the current era.

Keep watching this space.

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