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The all-electric racing league known as Formula E will begin taking to race tracks around the world next year, and Williams Advanced Engineering is the latest company to sign on as a supplier for the cars.
Starting in the 2014 F1 season, Williams will source its engines from Mercedes’ AMG brand.
The Mercedes-Benz and Williams F1 teams have yet to sign a new commercial agreement with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), sparking rumors that the two teams may pull out of the sport.
All race teams that participate in F1 are represented by FOTA, which looks after all dealings with the FIA (Federation International de L’automobile) and represents all of the racing teams interests as a whole. FOTA and the FIA have to deal with television rights, advertising and making sure the race teams receive their fair share of financial compensation. To ensure this, the two organizations sign what is known as a Concorde Agreement, which dictates the races each team will compete in and how to evenly distribute television revenues and prize money. The current Concorde Agreement was signed in 2009, and will expire on December 31, 2012. This is why a new agreement is being sought by FOTA and the FIA to ensure the future of Formula 1.
Bernie Ecclestone, president of Formula One management is looking to make this deal, and has already gotten some signatures. ”I am very pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreements with the majority of the current Formula 1 teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing, about the terms on which they will continue competing in Formula 1 after the current Concorde Agreement expires at the end of this year,” said Ecclestone.
What this statement also details is that the Mercedes-Benz and Williams F1 teams have not signed the agreement. Both teams have yet to agree on their share of the pie, saying that because of each teams respective history in the sport, they should receive more compensation than some of the other, newer teams.
This leaves the situation completely up in the air, with some saying the Mercedes-Benz may even take legal action against Ecclestone and F1 stating that they want to be involved, but are being short changed.
It would be a shame if either of these teams did not renew, as they are both main stays in the Formula 1 circuit and carry names that fans love.
[Source: BBC Sport]
Back in 1997, Germany’s Michael Schumacher was the man to beat in Formula 1. At the last race of the season, he was in a title battle with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve. The winner of the race would take the driver’s championship.
Villeneuve in his Williams-Renault was on pole, but Schumacher’s Ferrari got the better start and took the lead by the first corner. However, as the race progressed, Villeneuve started clawing back at Schumacher, and then on lap 48, took the inside line at the Dry Sack corner to take the lead. In an attempt to take out his opponent, Schumacher turned in and hit Villeneuve’s car. However, the hit proved more lethal to Schumacher, as he had to retire from suspension damage. Villeneuve’s car was damaged, he nursed the car for the next 22 laps and finished the race in third position, enough to give him the F1 Driver’s Championship.
For his actions, Schumacher was stripped off his second place in the driver’s championship by the FIA. So now while the Ferrari camp mourned, the Williams-Renault F1 team and its sponsors rejoiced and celebrated their victory in the hands of a Canadian hero.
One of their sponsors, cigarette giant Rothman’s wanted to give Villeneuve a very special present, and they did so with the car you see on this page. It is a 1997 Dodge Viper R/T10 Roadster, which has been modified by the American tuning specialists Hennessey. The end result is called a Viper Venom 600, the last digits denoting the horsepower figure it produces.
This car is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.3 seconds, and onto a top speed of 205 mph. Perfect daily commuter for an F1 champ then.
Now this one-off special can be yours, as it has been listed for sale. This car has covered 23,000 miles, and while it did suffer mild damage at one point in its life, it has all been repaired properly since.
This car is located in U.K. at the moment, but the seller does mention that World-wide export is available, and the asking price is only $63,300. That might be a lot for a 1997 Viper, but considering it is a Hennessey and one that has a World Champion as its first owner, it might be the ultimate collector piece for an F1 fan.
The Williams Formula 1 team has a long and somewhat checkered history at the pinnacle of motor sports, and like some of its competitors, have delved into the business of sports cars. Williams was full at hand with the development of the Renault Clio Williams from the early to mid ’90s, and had even developed a concept van called the Renault Espace F1, which was a minivan with a Renault engine taken from an F1 race car.
While on the motor sport side, Williams is still doing business with Renault (with whom they have just signed on with again for the 2012 season), however it is also working with Jaguar on a very special road car.
The car in question is the C-X75 supercar that Jaguar has decided to put into production. This hybrid supercar will use kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) similar to the ones used in Formula 1 racers, and Williams is responsible for perfecting this technology for use in this super Jaguar.
Williams chairman Adam Parr wants to take thing even further, saying; “We would like to become the competition and sporting side of Jaguar.” In other words, Williams could become the AMG of Jaguar road cars.
Williams has been on hand with the C-X75 from the very beginning. Parr said; “When the C-X75 was first envisaged it was powered by two turbines manufactured by Bladed Jets, which is part owned by Jaguar owner Tata Motors. But we have concentrated on adopting a path that will make the C-X75 the cleanest and more environmentally friendly supercar of all time. “So at the moment we are concentrating on a downsized internal combustion engine combined with some pretty amazing kinetic energy recovery systems.”
This partnership could lead to this technology trickling down to more Jaguar road cars, and could also spawn the return of Jaguar in competitive racing.
Time will tell what more this partnership will bring. For now, expect to see the production C-X75 to hit the showrooms in about two-years time.
GALLERY: Jaguar C-X75
Desperate times call for whoring yourself out for money desperate measures, and with the Royal Bank of Scotland pulling their funding from the Williams Formula 1 team, the outfit had to come up with some money, and fast.
One group able to come up with the money was PDVSA, the Venezuelan owned state oil company, who managed to chip in $14 million dollars, and effectively force Williams to sign Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado. Maldonado is an avowed supporter of President Hugo Chavez, making his signing barely more palatable than the patronage that may have gone on if a Venezuelan minister’s child was given a Formula 1 seat.
Who would have thought there would be a less evil team than Ferrari?