The dream team combination of the early 1990’s is set to return to Formula One in 2012.
The Williams Formula One team will switch to Renault engines next season and in doing so will recreate the glory days of the 1990’s.
Williams Renault won the drivers World titles in 1992 with Nigel Mansell, 1993 with Alain Prost, 1996 with Damon Hill and 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve.
They also won five F1 World Constructors Championships between 1992 and 1997.
Since that last championship with Villeneuve, Williams have failed to return to their previously successful ways. They won a few Grand Prix’s with BMW engines with the last win coming in 2004, but in recent seasons they have struggled and this season they currently sit ninth in the F1 Constructors standings.
It has been a long fall from grace for one of Formula One’s favourite teams, but partnering back up with Renault will hopefully give the team the boost it needs to return to the front of the grid, where it undoubtedly belongs.
‘On the face of it, people will assume Williams-Renault back together is a great story – watch the winning happen, but I remind people F1 never stands still, what we achieved in the 90s is no guarantee of what we can achieve in the future.’ Williams team boss Frank Williams told Autosport Magazine following the announcement.
‘Renault can win races and does still win races, and we have ahead of us at Williams a steep mountain. We will climb it, how long it will take us we don’t know but we will deliver our side of the bargain. I’m really thrilled and delighted and slightly nervous.’
Renault F1 president Bernard Rey was also delighted to revive the Williams Renault partnership.
‘Of course there’s great pride in reviving the Williams-Renault name.’ he told the BBC.
‘Together, we produced racing cars that are recognised for their technical innovation and it is still Renault’s most successful period in F1 to date.
‘It’s a hugely exciting opportunity for both Renault and Williams.’
The initial deal is a two-year contract and Williams become the fourth Formula One team to be supplied by Renault.
Under previous FIA guidelines engine suppliers could only partner three teams, but this changes from next season, allowing Current F1 World champions Red Bull, Lotus Renault GP, Team Lotus and now Williams to work with Renault.
Renault insist that no team will be given preferential treatment.