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Formula 1: Williams to abandon tradition of making gearboxes, hydraulics, to source parts from Mercedes

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Image Credits: Leanne Boon/Octane Photographic Ltd., AP.

Williams was the only one of the 10 F1 teams that failed to pick up a point last season. The team, founded by Frank Williams in 1977, has won seven drivers’ championships and nine constructors titles, but none since 1997.

The Williams Formula One team, reorganising under new ownership, announced on Tuesday that it would abandon its tradition of making it own gearboxes and hydraulics and instead source them from its engine supplier Mercedes.

Williams was the only one of the 10 F1 teams that failed to pick up a point last season. The team, founded by Frank Williams in 1977, has won seven drivers’ championships and nine constructors titles, but none since 1997.

File photo Credit: AP

It was sold by the Williams family to American investment fund Dorilton Capital in August.

Williams has used Mercedes engines since 2014.

“Historically, Williams has built its own gearboxes and hydraulics in-house, however, the increased partnership with Mercedes will enable Williams to implement a more efficient design and manufacturing process in-house in the long-term,” said the team in a statement. “Williams will continue to design and manufacture other chassis parts.”

Formula One is lowering its spending cap next season which will have an impact on the teams with the biggest staffs. These include Mercedes, which has won the Formula One constructors and drivers’ titles for the last seven seasons.

“For Williams, it makes sense to acquire the integrated powertrain after running our power units since 2014,” said Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal. “For our team, it makes sense in terms of economies of scale to supply another team under the new rules.” (AFP)

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