Claire and her father Frank Williams say they would rather have Mercedes engines than pots of Honda money. Picture: Williams F1

Grove, Oxfordshire - Former world champion Williams has dismissed suggestions that it could revive a Formula One partnership with Honda if McLaren decides to split from the Japanese manufacturer.

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

"We had a fantastic relationship with them back in the 1980s," she told TalkSport 2 radio, "but I can categorically say that we have not talked to Honda. We're not here ready with a press release saying we are joining forces with them in 2018. We haven't talked to them.

"We all know that Honda puts a huge amount of money into 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 ninth again?"

Williams finished fifth overall in 2016, down from third in 2015; it is currently sixth in the Constructor's standings.

McLaren, the sport's second most successful team in terms of race wins, is last in the championship, the only team yet to score in 2017.

Honda has already announced it 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.

Williams and Brazilian Nelson Piquet won the 1987 world championship with Honda engines.


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