Williams Chasing BMW's Major Sponsor Petronas

Frank Williams may have some ulterior motives for not wanting to give his go-ahead for a 28-car grid next season. As it emerged following recent reports this week, the Grove based outfit is strongly objecting the expansion of the 2010 Formula One grid to 28 cars – from the initial 26 – as they argued it would overpopulate the grid next year.

Although the FIA has already approved the 2010 entry list, it is already a known fact that the ruling body is pushing to secure BMW Sauber a place in the next year's championship following their sellout to Qadbak. However, Frank Williams argued that there is little anyone knows about the Swiss foundation in order to secure the newly formed team a place on the F1 grid until 2012.

However, as revealed by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, it seems the real reason why the 67-year old team owner doesn't want to see BMW Sauber on the next year's grid is because Williams is aiming to secure the Swiss outfit's major long-term Malaysian sponsor Petronas.

Although Malaysian team Lotus F1 will also enter the series next year, it is believed Petronas would choose to stick with Sauber if the outfit were to secure their place in the 2010 lineup. If not, Williams would be their second choice, as the Grove based team is already a well-established outfit in Formula One.

Williams recently lost one of their most important sponsors in the series – The Royal Bank of Scotland – as the Scottish back announced their withdrawal from F1 at the end of the year. That would cause a $20 million drop per year for Williams in the upcoming seasons' budget, in addition to “the $30m deal of the failed Icelandic retail group Baugur,” as reported by the GMM news agency.

Without the unanimous approval of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), FIA cannot impose a 28-car grin next year. There are currently 2 teams announcing their objections over BMW Sauber's safeguarding process – Williams and newly entrants Campos Grand Prix.
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