Short of making a formal press announcement, Sir Frank Williams has given the biggest possible indication that Mark Webber will be retained by the Grove based team in 2007.
The Australian driver will only appear in blue overalls next year if 64-year-old Williams picks up an ‘option’ on his current contract, but he played down suggestions that 29-year-old could be a free agent in the near future.
”Mark Webber is a superb racer,” Frank – who will also retain teammate Nico Rosberg – said in a column for the newspaper Daily Telegraph.
”We’re in contract discussions (with Webber) at the moment and definitely want to keep him for next year.”
Williams also defended his decision to switch from Cosworth to works Toyota power, explaining that sticking with a customer supplier would have risked ‘dithering on the vine’.
Adding that linking up with Toyota will help attract sponsors, he said: ”The other small problem was that we had to pay for (Cosworth’s V8 engine), and we can’t afford to do that.”