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Williams on Bridgestones for 2006 10 Sep 2005

Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) BMW Williams FW27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, 9 September 2005

Williams confirmed on Saturday a multi-year agreement to use Bridgestone tyres, starting from the end of this season.

“After detailed consideration, we have taken a very positive decision, based on technical merit, to renew a relationship with Bridgestone who we previously worked with in 2000,” said team boss Frank Williams.

“We are delighted to re-establish a partnership with the tyre company that has won seven consecutive World Championship titles since 1998.”

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport commented: “WilliamsF1 is one of the most experienced and respected teams competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship and I would like to thank Sir Frank Williams for his faith in our technological capabilities.

“Since entering Formula One in 1997, Bridgestone Motorsport has supplied the winning Constructors' and Drivers' Champions no fewer than seven times and we now look forward to working closely with the WilliamsF1 Team to help them achieve their goals in the future."

Paying tribute to current suppliers Michelin, Williams added: “At the same time, we would like to thank Michelin sincerely for a very constructive and fruitful relationship since 2001 which has yielded many achievements, not least ten Grands Prix victories and 40 podium finishes.”

Bridgestone currently supply just three teams, compared to Michelin’s seven. However, Michelin declared earlier this year that they intended to work with fewer constructors in 2006 and another of their teams, Toyota, are already in advanced negotiations with Bridgestone.

For Williams, the tyre switch adds another new element to their 2006 package. They recently announced they will use Cosworth engines next year, following the decision of current suppliers BMW to buy Sauber. Chief designer Gavin Fisher has also just left the team and uncertainty remains over their 2006 driver line-up, or more specifically whether it will or will not include Jenson Button.