Toyota Motor and WilliamsF1 announced Thursday that Toyota will supply engines to the WilliamsF1 team for the next three years, beginning in 2007.

The agreement explicitly states that WilliamsF1 will use "the same specification of engine as Panasonic Toyota Racing," ensuring a level playing field for all concerned, and putting even more heat on Toyota's "factory" team to produce race wins, after years of big budgets and mediocre results.

The deal leaves Toyota with a convenient exit strategy should it decide to abandon its underperforming factory team in favor of a support deal with WilliamsF1. For his part, WilliamsF1 Team principal, Sir Frank Williams (right) gets access to engines widely regarded as among the best in Formula 1, at a considerable saving over his outright purchase of engines from current engine supplier Cosworth.

The announcement also means Cosworth may be without a team for 2007, although the engine plans of the other "non-factory" teams, Red Bull Racing, Torro Rosso and MF1 (Midland) are yet to be finalized, and David Richards' new Prodrive team is also a potential customer.

[Source: Toyota Motor]