Williams is reportedly opposed to BMW-Sauber receiving a guaranteed 14th team entry for 2010 because it wants to secure the Swiss outfit's major long-term Malaysian sponsor Petronas.

Team chief Sir Frank Williams has said publicly that he opposes the expansion of the grid from 26 to 28 cars because the latter is too high a number, while not enough is known about BMW-Sauber's new mysterious owners Qadbak.

But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the Grove based team's resistance is actually about money, with the Malaysian oil company Petronas wanting to stay in formula one beyond 2009.

Interestingly, the German magazine said Petronas would prefer to stay with BMW-Sauber rather than switch to the new Malaysian-owned Lotus team.

Should BMW-Sauber drop off the grid, Williams would therefore be near the top of the list for Petronas as an established and reliable team with an affordable sponsorship rate card.

The report coincides with a newspaper article in Britain's Daily Telegraph claiming that Williams' finances "are far from pole position".

In 2010, the team will no longer have the Royal Bank of Scotland's $20m sponsorship, having already lost the $30m deal of the failed Icelandic retail group Baugur.