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A message for Mikhail Aleshin of SMP

January 19, 2019

Dearest Mikhail,

Re. your comments.

Williams Racing are a team with a rich heritage.

In almost 700 races in Formula 1 they have won 114 times (behind only Ferrari and McLaren), they’ve won nine Formula 1 Constructors Championships (second only to Ferrari) and have carried seven drivers to the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, scoring a total of 3560 points.

F1’s global fan survey in 2017 stated that Williams are the fifth most supported team in Formula 1 – a sport with, in 2018, 490.2 million unique viewers, according to Liberty’s latest viewing figures.

Williams’ five percent share of this viewership amounts to 25 million fans.

Williams Racing have the sixth highest budget in Formula 1 and the second highest of a non-manufacturer team without a works engine deal.

According to Forbes, the Williams racing brand is worth $405 million, making it the fifth most valuable team in Formula 1.

World Champions Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Nelson Piquet, Alan Jones, Nico Rosberg and Keke Rosberg have all driven for Williams. Seven of them won a title with Williams.

As recently as 2017 a Williams driver was on a Formula 1 podium, and as recently as 2014 Williams drivers were competing for Formula 1 wins.

Only three Formula 1 teams have won a Grand Prix since.

Williams’ Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe was instrumental in the Mercedes Formula 1 team winning no less than six world championships from 2013 to 2016.

Williams’ co-founder and team principal Frank Williams is one of the most respected figures in World sport, and in promoting his daughter Claire Williams to deputy team principal he is (with Claire) building a legacy that will ensure that the strong racing pedigree that the Williams team has always stood for and staunchly believes in endures in a sport going through a period of significant change.

So you see, they are not a ‘weak’ team as you suggest.

You’re a racing driver so I’d be surprised if your exposure to Formula 1 began with Sergey Sirotkin’s involvement as your comments suggest, but I’d recommend you fill in some of the obvious gaps in your knowledge before making such damning statements about a sporting institution.

If you did this, you would know that Formula 1 is cyclical. The great Ferrari scored a mere 21 points in the 1992 F1 season in the middle of a 20 year stretch without a championship. They ended that stretch with five straight world championship doubles (drivers and constructors’ titles) between 2000 and 2004.

The reason that “before the start of the season, no one thought Williams would be so bad” is because expectations of the team are so high. And they are so high because the Williams team are synonymous with effort, determination, talent, innovation and success.

Everything but the success is still there. And it will return.

But of course, you already know all of this, and your salty comments were as a result of SMP Racing inability to get a cut price deal with Williams for Sirotkin to continue driving into 2019.

Best wishes,

One of Williams’ 25 million fans worldwide.


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