These past few years haven’t been all too kind with Williams F1, as the team finished the 2019 Formula One season dead last in the Constructors’ standings, following a disappointing season the year before.
There is now added financial pressure on the team, spearheaded by their shocking break-up with title sponsor Rokit and their major sponsor Rok Drinks. Now, after posting a £13 million ($16 million) loss in 2019, the Williams F1 Team is up for grabs.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings (WGPH) is currently considering selling either a minority stake or a majority stake in the team, marking a major strategic shift for a company in which founder Sir Frank Williams had always held a majority share.
“As part of this new strategic direction, the WGPH board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the Company,” said Williams in an official statement. “Options being considered include, but are not limited to, raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in WGPH, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH holding a potential sale of the whole company.”
The ultimate goal is for Williams to position itself in such a way that it can take advantage of the upcoming rule changes for Formula 1, where a budget cap and a more even distribution of revenue could address the massive inequality between teams.
“There has been an enormous gap in earnings and expenditure between the three largest teams and the rest of the grid for a number of years, but we are confident that Liberty Media’s long-term vision and plans, including a first-ever cost-cap for the sport, will deliver a more level playing field for 2021 and beyond, on which all teams can compete more fairly.”
A brand new look
While speaking with select media, deputy team principal Claire Williams didn’t elaborate as to why her team parted ways with its title sponsor, reports Autosport.
“I can’t go into details on the ins and outs,” she said. “What I can say is that we met all of our contractual obligations to ROKiT.”
What this means however is that Williams needs to come up with a new color scheme and livery for when racing gets underway again this year.
“Obviously the livery is something that we’ve got to look at when we go racing again, hopefully in July,” she added. “F1 has put a marker in the sand for 5 July. We will unveil our new livery before we hit the race track.”
In the grand scheme of things, Williams remains one of the most successful teams in F1 history, having dominated large portions of the 1980s and 1990s. It won multiple titles with drivers such as Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and most recently Jacques Villeneuve in 1997.