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F1 | Williams In Trouble As Title Sponsor Pull Out And Team Potentially Up For Sale

The legendary Williams Formula One team are in hard times this morning, as they terminate title sponsorship with ROKiT phones and announce could well be up for sale.

Having endured incredibly lean times in recent seasons, all the indications pointed to a gradual upward trajectory for the former World Champions in 2020, with new technical leadership, robust sponsorship packages and a star driver in the form of George Russell heading into the opening races of the 2020 season.

However, Corona had other ideas and placed the racing world on immediate hiatus, leaving many racing organisations throughout the world in a perilous financial position - with more than a few outfits from various series having to access their situation carefully over the last few weeks.

Sadly for Williams, it appears that these bizarre times have been hard on the second most successful team on the grid, with news today that the squad have parted ways with title sponsor ROKiT with immediate effect.


The loss of revenue for a team who lost a rumoured £13 million last season is a harsh blow, and despite assurances that the outfit are "fully funded" for the year ahead, Williams are now formally courting potential investors or buyers for the nine times Constructors World Champions.

Via a statement released yesterday, Deputy Team Principle Claire Williams had the following to say about the future of the outfit:

“As part of this new strategic direction, the WGPH [Williams Grand Prix Holdings] board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the Company,” said Williams in a 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 including a potential sale of the whole Company.

“Whilst no decisions have been made regarding the optimal outcome yet, to facilitate discussions with interested parties, the Company announces the commencement of a ‘formal sale process’.”

They added: “The Company is not in receipt of any approaches at the time of this announcement and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with a small number of parties regarding a potential investment in the Company.

“There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made. The WGPH board reserves the right to alter or terminate the process at any time and if it does so it will make an announcement as appropriate. The WGPH board also reserves the right to reject any approach or terminate discussions with any interested party at any time.

“While the Company has faced a number of challenges, Williams currently remains funded and ready to resume racing when the calendar allows in 2020. The WGPH board believes that the strategic review and formal sale process is the right and prudent thing to do in order to take time to consider a full range of options and put the Formula 1 team in the best possible position for the future.”


A huge blow for the British team, the Williams troubles come at a time when rumours continue to circulate that the Renault squad are about to announce their exit from the sport as a constructor, retaining a presence as engine manufacturer to customer teams, and the potential that reigning World Champions Mercedes are actively considering selling the team to interested parties.

Difficult times for Grand Prix racing ahead.


Original Source: F1.com

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Williams F1 1.jpg
 
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F_B

1000RPM
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Nov 27, 2013
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Byebye to one of the last private teams ins F1. :redface:
Such a shame, I looked up to this team in awe in the 90s.
Seems like you cannot be successful in this series anymore without a billionaire/manufacturer in the background.
 

Terry Rock

2000RPM
Oct 24, 2009
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There once was a time in F1 wherein highly skilled and very talented drivers were offered less than market value...simply to drive a Williams car.
If you wanted a shot at a WDC, Williams was one of only three teams that could possibly do it and they knew it.
How times and fortunes have changed for them.
It is sad to watch them decline to this point.
 
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RobertGracie

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Jun 4, 2017
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This is just the saddest day in Motorsport history.....seriously what the hell is going on I know we are in crappy times but still this isnt right!
 
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AusWillis

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There is always another Stroll out there watching and waiting.

Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
 

Kevin Bradley

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Sep 13, 2014
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Well this news sucks :(

Williams have always been my favorite team in F1. Damon Hill was my sporting hero as a teenager (a man that proved nice guys can win). The factory at Grove near Wantage is an area that I know pretty well as my family were originally from Abingdon just up the road.

Sad day. I hope they can find a buyer or another headline sponsorship deal or something to pull them out of this mess. Otherwise it looks like the reduced 2021 (or 2022) cost cap in F1 will come just a bit too late for this once great team.
 

Matthew Allington

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Nov 20, 2015
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This reminds me of the eventual demise of the Minardi name. A small (for the time), fiercely independent team who, in their latter years, sometimes went against the establishment for the sake of their own pride, but ultimately ended their tenures as backmarkers forced to sell the team.
 

kptnv

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Jan 19, 2019
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I watched the news of the new rules and was thinking "Williams can really dig themselves out of that hole". Alas looks like it's not meant to be. I hope we do get a good team in their place *cough* Porsche *cough*, however it's a sad day for the priveteer.

Also how didn't they get a bigger historic package from F1?
 

Paul Glover

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With Renault announcing 15,000 job losses, how can they continue in F1?
 

BillyBobSenna

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Lets hope we don't loose this great team from the grid and this is not the first domino to fall.

Austin 2018
20181019_D500_0119.jpg
 
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AusWillis

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As I said in another reply in some other thread, the world as we knew it is gone, it has changed and what it will become I have no idea but this as well as maybe the Renault thing mentioned is all part of a unfolding new reality that we have to learn to live in.

I feel for the human side of this that now will have to deal with what this means
 

Andrew Harper

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Dec 1, 2014
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Not good news, in any form of motorsport.

I would imagine this has mainly come around from Rokit's side.

I always wondered how a small phone manufacturer pumping tens of millions into sports sponsorship could manage that. I'm assuming they are not selling enough of the things as well.

Ironically I wonder if they get better recognition by simply sponsoring things like e-sports and I assume for far less money.

I hope that Williams can survive all this, it will be very tough though. Williams are fiercely independent but I can see them having to bite the bullet and team up with a manufacturer if they want to keep going.

We don't want to lose another two cars from the grid.
 

Trebor901

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To be honest Williams could benefit from pulling out of F1 and rebuilding by running in other types of motorsport. They were a brilliant touring car team back in the day. So whats to stop them from doing that now? Other than pride.
 
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