2018 proved to be the Williams F1 team’s worst season to date. A fundamentally flawed FW41 proved to be too much of a handful for its two drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin who were able to muster a mere seven points between them all season.
As a consequence, it’s not just Williams’ reputation that has taken a hit; the team has also posted a financial loss it has been announced today.
As the 2018 season progressed Williams found themselves unable to improve a fundamentally flawed car with repeated attempts to remedy their issues making very little impact on the drivability of a car that would end the season as Williams’ worst performing car in history.
Off the track Williams’ lucrative sponsorship deal with Martini came to an end, and at the season’s close they replaced their two ‘pay drivers’ with George Russell and Robert Kubica, of whom only Kubica brings financial support to the team (although Mercedes are likely to have given Williams a cut price engine deal as a part of the deal to appoint Mercedes junior Russell).
This has amounted to the team registering an eyewatering £17m loss in 2019 after being in profit the previous year.
In the first half of 2019 Williams F1 operation generated £46m in revenue compared with £60m for the same period in 2018, down a whopping £14m.
Away from the track, Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services division of the Williams Group offset the loss made by the F1 team with an increase in revenue of almost £10m, up from £22m in 2018 to £31m in 2019.
This loss is further proof that when the pieces land after the planned shake up in regulations and distribution of F1’s wealth between teams come 2021 that they absolutely must fall in Williams’ favour or it could spell a perilous few years for one of Formula 1’s most iconic and historic teams.