Claire Williams is optimistic about the survival of Williams Racing, and she expects either new investors or new owners to come onboard within the next three to four months.
Following a loss-making 2019 and the departure of lead sponsors ROKiT, Williams are looking at bringing in investors to ensure the team remain in Formula 1, and they have not ruled out the possibility of selling the team if it keeps their two cars on the grid.
Williams, the Deputy Team Principal of the Grove-based outfit, says that the process of finding the interested parties in investing or buying the team is in its infancy, but there are high hopes that the team will survive beyond 2020.
“We haven’t put a timeframe on this process, but we want to complete it within the next three to four months,” said Williams to Motorsport.com. “We like to do things fast in F1, don’t we? And we feel that we can achieve it in that timeframe.
“But we are fully funded throughout the remainder of this year to continue racing as and when we can go back to the circuit.”
Williams have long said they would not allow the team to be sold, but with times changing and the team having finished bottom of the championship for the past two campaigns, the move to secure the teams future meant they had to at least allow talks with interested buyers.
“This is not about the Williams family, and putting Williams up for sale,” insisted Williams. “This is about trying to secure the future of our team. What Frank [Williams, Team Founder and Owner] has always done is to ensure that he puts the team, the business and our people first. And that’s what we’re doing now.
“Equally, Frank always wants to be as competitive as possible. And one of the main reasons that we’re doing this is to attract inward investment into the team, in order that we can firstly capitalise on the new regulations that are coming forward in 2021 and put this team in the best possible position to be successful.
“And, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters to us.”
Investment Call ‘the right and prudent thing to do’
The investment, Williams says, is not out of desperation but the need to put the team first has its implications, and she feels it is the right thing to do to secure its future on the grid.
“I don’t believe that it’s desperation,” Williams said. “I think that it’s the right and prudent thing to do. And Williams, as a family, have always put our F1 team first.
“I feel very much that seeking inward investment at this juncture is absolutely in line with that philosophy that we’ve always had: to protect our team’s future, to protect the people that work for us. I don’t think that it in any way does what you suggest it does. I think it’s the right thing to do.
“This is absolutely the time because of the ambition that we have to return this team back to where we all want it to be, where it’s been in the past. It takes money. And we need inwards investment in order to achieve what we want to achieve and to help us with the ambition that we have in F1.
“The sport hasn’t been kind to us because of the various regulations that have come in, and mostly because of the expenditure. Now with these new regulations, that’s set to change to a degree. And that for me is incredibly exciting, and I think for our team is incredibly exciting.”
Williams says she is ‘genuinely very confident’ that the future of Williams will be secured in the coming months, thanks to the incoming investments.
“I certainly sit here today genuinely very confident about this team’s future and our ability to succeed in our sport again, because the environment in which we can compete is changing,” she said.
“And the fact that we’re now making this decision to source inward investment in order to help us achieve everything that we want to, to help us fulfil all the plans that we’ve been putting into place and to drive us even further forward: it’s absolutely the right day to be doing this in Williams’s history.
“I have every confidence that we will find the investment that we need.”