Williams offers team for sale
The Williams team plans to offer its racing team for sale. The deal with the main sponsor ROKiT will be canceled with immediate effect.
Background: Williams was last off the rest of the Formula 1 field last in the constructors’ standings. This also affected the business balance of the company listed on the stock exchange. Williams Grand Prix Holdings (WGPH) posted a loss of the equivalent of 14.5 million euros in 2019.
Claire Williams wants to sell the team
Now it gets worse: The contract with the main sponsor ROKiT is terminated with immediate effect. The reasons for this are unknown. However, this is surprising in that the telecommunications company only extended the contract with Williams in the summer of 2019 until the end of 2023.
The corona crisis does not help in this situation: races are canceled, funds are not forthcoming.
Williams has his back to the wall and is now considering various options. This includes the sale of team shares or even a complete sale of the racing team. “The WGPH board believes that the strategic evaluation and sales process are a right and prudent step to take time to think and consider a number of options,” the release said.
Talks with “few” interested parties had started, but there were no concrete plans yet. Michael Latifi might be a candidate. The rich businessman from Canada is the father of Nicholas Latifi, who will make his Formula 1 debut at Williams in 2020. Latifi senior has secured 10% of McLaren’s shares for around 250 million euros and recently granted Williams a loan of 56 million euros.
The Williams team was launched in 1977 after Frank Williams (1969-1976) sold the first Formula 1 team to Walter Wolf. Since 1977, Williams has grown to become the third most successful Formula 1 team ever with nine constructors ‘titles, seven drivers’ world championships and 114 GP victories. But the glorious past is fading more and more: Frank Williams is now 78 years old, and his daughter Claire has long since taken over the operational business. The last victory was eight years ago, the last World Cup title was 23 years ago.