Formula One: Williams dismiss talk of Honda link-up

Deputy team principal Claire Williams, in a file picture from the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, says the team were happy with their Mercedes power units and had no plans to revive a 1980s partnership with Honda even if they split with McLaren.
Deputy team principal Claire Williams, in a file picture from the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, says the team were happy with their Mercedes power units and had no plans to revive a 1980s partnership with Honda even if they split with McLaren. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Former world champions Williams have dismissed suggestions they could revive a Formula One partnership with Honda if McLaren decide to split from the Japanese manufacturer.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said the team were happy with their Mercedes power units and there had been no talks with Honda.

"We had a fantastic relationship with them back in the 1980s, but I can categorically say that we have not talked to Honda," she told radio station TalkSPORT2.

"We are not here ready with a press release saying we are joining forces with them in 2018. We haven't talked to them," she added.

"We all know that Honda do put a huge amount of money at McLaren but when I weigh up the pros and cons, would I rather have the budget we have and be the fourth-quickest car or have a huge amount of money and finish P9 (ninth) again?"

Williams finished fifth overall last year, down from third in 2015.

They are currently sixth.

McLaren, the sport's second-most successful team in terms of race wins, are currently last in the championship and the only ones yet to score in 2017.

Honda have already announced they will supply the Sauber team with engines next year but Swiss tabloid Blick, citing rumours from England, suggested Williams could become the Japanese manufacturer's main factory focus.