Williams would consider Audi collaboration, but ‘under certain conditions’

Henry Valantine
Williams team principal Jost Capito. Melbourne April 2022.

Jost Capito hangs out on the WIlliams pit wall during the weekend. Australia April 2022.

Williams team principal Jost Capito has said the team are open to discussions with Audi in future, but ruled out a full takeover from the German manufacturer.

It was confirmed on Friday morning Audi will enter Formula 1 as a power-unit manufacturer from the 2026 season, although they have also been linked with a majority takeover of Sauber in the wake of Alfa Romeo’s announcement they will cease their involvement with them at the end of 2023.

Williams currently use Mercedes power and are thought to be exploring their options after Toto Wolff said earlier this year they are looking to remove one customer team from their operations as they also supply themselves, Aston Martin and McLaren.

Confirmation of Audi’s arrival signals the end of a long-running negotation between the sport and the Volkswagen Group brand, with fellow VW marque Porsche also set to announce an entry of their own into Formula 1 most likely through a partnership with Red Bull.

Chiefly, Capito lauded the future arrival of Audi in the sport as a show of how popular Formula 1 has become, but they will only entertain discussions with Audi on the proviso Williams will remain an independent team.

“I think first of all, it’s great news the Volkswagen Group announces to get into Formula 1,” Capito told Sky Sports.

“I think that’s a great sign for Formula 1. It sees the value of Formula 1 increasing, and how important Formula 1 has become for global car manufacturers.

“That’s basically a very good sign for Formula 1 and for all the teams, and then to see where they link up they just said they [will] enter as an engine supplier, and I assume now they have to sort out with whom they want to work.

“I think for Williams, we would be open for co-operations – under certain conditions. Of course, for Williams it’s important to stay an independent team. And that’s under the circumstances we would be open for discussions.”

Williams head into the weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix sat bottom of the Constructors’ Championship, with three points on the board for the year so far.