Claire Williams insists part of her job as Deputy Team Principal of Williams Martini Racing is to protect the independence of the team despite reports in the German media that suggests Lawrence Stroll wants them to have a closer relationship with Mercedes-Benz.
The father of current Williams driver Lance Stroll would like to see the team use more components and technology from Mercedes, much like the Haas F1 Team does with Scuderia Ferrari, effecting turning the Grove-based outfit into a B-team to the German marquee.
“Paddock rumours say Lawrence Stroll is working on a rescue plan,” reports Michael Schmidt of German publication Auto Motor und Sport. “Stroll wants to finance Williams’ partnership with Mercedes.
“It would save Williams money and give it a basis to compete in the midfield. In turn, Mercedes would get a junior team that would be at its side politically and provide a place for its young drivers.”
However, Williams refutes this, and insists they want to remain as an independent team, and they will continue to fight to survive in the world of Formula 1.
“I don’t know where that story has come from,” Williams said to Motorsport.com. “We are a constructor. Frank and Patrick [Head] fought for our independence for decades, and they did an incredibly good job.
“One of my responsibilities is to protect our independence. And that’s incredibly important to us.”
Williams has previously supported the plans by Liberty Media to reduce the costs of Formula 1 and ensure better distribution of revenue from 2021, but until then she knows the team will have to generate their own income and funds to ensure they can survive and fight.
“We’re always trying to, that’s the fun of F1, you’re always every year looking at your budget and making sure that you have a healthy racing budget to compete with the following year,” said Williams.
“It’s no different this year to the previous year, or 10 years ago or 30 years ago, it’s exactly the same. Things haven’t changed. We announced our annual results last week, and they were really positive, so I don’t think anyone should be too worried about Williams for the time being.
“But we need those 2021 proposals, we’ve made no secret of that fact not only for our team but we believe for the future of the sport they are incredibly important.”