George Russell, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Williams name could disappear from F1 after sale

2020 F1 season

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The Williams name could disappear from Formula 1 as a result of the team’s decision to put itself up for sale.

However deputy team principal Claire Williams stressed the team “hasn’t made any job cuts” after announcing plans to sell the team today.

An incoming buyer could have the option to rebrand the team, which is one of the most successful in F1 history, with nine constructors’ championship victories and 114 race wins.

“It’s too early probably to hypothesise on what the team could and couldn’t be called,” said Williams. “I think the Williams family would certainly always like to see the Williams name in Formula 1.

“It certainly doesn’t mean that this team won’t continue to race for many years to come. This for us is about securing the future of our team and making sure that we have a successful future to the generation of inward investment.”

The decision to put the team up for sale has not come about solely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Williams.

“There’s no one key factor that’s driven this decision,” she said. “We’ve obviously taken steps over the past many months in order to ensure that we put Williams in the best possible position financially and therefore competitively, and it’s a further step in this process.

“No one key factor can be attributable to this. There’s a number of factors that has led us to this decision.”

Williams’ father Sir Frank Williams, who founded the team in 1977, has long resisted selling it. Today’s decision is important to ensure the team’s survival, she said.

“What Frank has always done is to ensure that he puts the team, the business and our people first. And that’s what we’re doing now.

“Equally, Frank always wants to be as competitive as possible. And one of the main reasons that we’re doing this is to attract inward investment into the team in order that we can firstly capitalise on the new regulations that are coming forward in 2021 and put this team in the best possible position to be successful. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters to us.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 17 comments on “Williams name could disappear from F1 after sale”

    1. Great opportunity for Renault or Honda take out facility, Renault for young drivers and providing engine, or Honda to make her own team.

      Maybe Petronas?

      1. Pretty sure Petronas was poised to bow out after 2020 (maybe they stick around a year longer? wouldn’t be too certain).

    2. That would be a tragedy for F1.

    3. I can’t believe the team that was ruling the sport when I was a kid is in this mess. I grew up with Rothmans livered cars dominating left, right and centre. Heck, I dreamed of a Renault Clio Williams just because it had the name of the F1 champions.

      I guess that’s what my father felt when Lotus left.

      1. @fer-no65
        Spot on. We seem to feel like this is a shock, but Lotus, Brabham, Tyrell are all examples.

        Without scaremongering, how far are we from a grid where only 3 competing teams have ever been champions?

        Currently 6 out of 10 sounds good, but you could argue a case for all 6 of these to leave / be sold at some point in the near future.

      2. I grew up with Canon liveried cars dominating left, right and centre.

    4. So long Williams, thanks for all the amazing memories.

    5. It’s Tyrrell situation all over again..

      1. It’s been the Tyrrell situation since BMW left!

    6. I’m gutted, F1 without Williams won’t be the same for me. They have been my team since I first started watching the sport in 1992 as a wide eyed 8 year old. Nowadays my office is crammed full of books about Frank, Ginny, the team and their drivers and 1:43 scale models of their cars. I’ve supported them through all the highs and the many lows of the recent past. If Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited dies, part of my F1 fanaticism will die too.

      If a new buyer comes in I do hope they retain the name, it will be important to us fans and I’ms ure to the staff who will remain. I mean, you surely cannot countenance wiping the second most successful constructor in F1 history (in terms of WCC won) from the grid with one stroke of a pen…

    7. Jose Lopes da Silva
      29th May 2020, 11:27

      Reality is hitting hard, but maybe not hard enough yet.
      We’re talking about the possibility of Renault hiring Alonso, meanwhile they’re axing thousands of jobs.

      1. alonso could still be hired. McLaren hired Ricciardo for 17m, then sacked 1,200 people. F1 is an interesting sport sometimes.

        1. @racerjoss The salary of those 1,200 will far exceed what McLaren will pay Ricciardo. Although it is certainly not ideal whatsoever, the value of Ricciardo for McLaren is much more than those employees. You cannot earn money from marketing your employees and they won’t be as important to your F1 aspirations.

    8. uuhh…

      Ice1Racing w/ Team Rosberg !

      Come on boys, you are the Finns with the money and expertise, blow it away on a glorious 3 year ride of a lifetime !

    9. Jockey Ewing
      29th May 2020, 13:04

      Really sad news :(
      I have no idea who could be the buyer in these times.
      And what about Russell now?
      Figures around McLaren’s and Reanault’s downsizing are enormous too.

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