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Howett confirms Williams split likely

2 October 2009

Toyota motorsport president John Howett has admitted that it is unlikely that the Japanese marque will be supplying Williams in 2010, despite there being a year left on their contract.

Speaking to Reuters from the paddock at Suzuka, Howett confirmed that Williams had asked to be released from the agreement in order to pursue alternative engine partners, amid speculation that it was unhappy with the potential of the Japanese unit. Toyota is believed to have one of the more unpowered engines in the field and Williams has been linked to Renault, Mercedes and Cosworth deals in recent weeks.

"We are happy to supply Williams, but they don't want our engine," Howett acknowledged, "We have a binding agreement for next year and they have asked us to release them. Our position is that, if they don't want it, then fine, we are talking to other people for a supply. If Williams want the engine, it's still available but I think, now, we have separated for various reasons."

Howett insisted that Toyota had the capacity to continue supplying a customer team, despite struggling to make its factory team a frontrunner and ongoing rumours about its future in the sport.

"We've got more than one team asking for [the engine]," he claimed, "although some are unable, I think, without a breach of contract to do that."


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