The Williams F1 team has confirmed that it will supply its transmission systems to Hispania Racing for the 2011 season and beyond until the current Cosworth engine design freeze rules end in 2012.
The Spanish outfit becomes the second team – following Lotus, which also moved to a customer supply arrangement with Red Bull Racing – to leave Xtrac’s gearbox and hydraulics units and go with another supplier.
“This is a logical partnership given Williams and Hispania’s mutual relationship with Cosworth,” said Williams’ CEO, Alex Burns, when announcing the deal.
“Our gearbox technology has consistently proven itself as both competitive and reliable, and hence this agreement will be a positive development for both organisations.”
The deal will certainly help Williams to shore up its finances in the wake of it losing several key sponsors.
“This technical partnership is a significant step forward for Hispania Racing HRT F1 Team to improve its performance,” added HRT team boss Colin Kolles.
“We are very happy to do this with an engineering company and race team like Williams F1 which has an impressive track record and astonishing heritage.”
HRT has endured a difficult debut season at the back of the grid, where it has struggled with limited development to its Dallara-designed car and several hydraulics-related reliability issues.
There is no official confirmation, as yet, if HRT had indeed bought the assets of the former Toyota F1 programme as rumoured, although this may now be cast into doubt on the back of the announcement with Williams, which would seem to tie to Murcia-based team to Cosworth power for the next two years.
[Original image via Sutton Images]