Cosworth replaced BMW as Williams’ engine partner in ’06 and the partnership seemed doomed from the start. The V8 was powerful, but unreliable, and Mark suffered 11 retirements from 18 races and the team scored just 11 points. Despite it all, Mark started on the front row at Monaco, but it was time for him to move on.
“A hugely disappointing season. The car didn’t handle too badly, but it was so unreliable that we were rarely able to run it at its full potential. We always had limited laps in practice and the revs were usually turned down in the race to try and help us get to the finish. By the end of the year I just wanted to move on and re-establish myself.”
“The end of ’06 marked Michael Schumacher’s ‘first’ retirement. I had a pretty good relationship with him, even though we certainly had our frosty moments. What he did at Rascasse in Monaco was certainly a low point and we had several disagreements on the GPDA. He’d had a great career and I was excited by the future; there was a whole group of drivers ready to take his mantle.”