‘Serious people’ plotting Williams investment

Date published: June 6 2020

"serious people" looking at Williams investement says Ross Brawn.

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn says there are some “serious people” looking at investing in Williams.

It was last week when the team made the announcement that they were searching for new funding and a complete sale of the company and its F1 team wasn’t out of the question.

The team’s deputy principal Claire Williams has said the funds are there to complete the 2020 season, though a loan of £28million has been taken out by the company.

But Brawn believes the new financial rules coming in to F1 will be enough to safeguard Williams‘ future, while some “serious people” are considering investing in the team.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has already purchased a five-percent stake in his former team Williams.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Brawn said: “I think without the things we did it would have been much more worrying, but it’s pretty stable.

“The Williams situation has got to be dealt with, but there’s been some fairly serious people looking at Williams, and I think it shows that there’s a decent model behind it to make it a serious consideration.”

But while Brawn does have a soft spot for Williams, he says the team is paying the inevitable price right now for finishing last in the past two seasons.

“It’s a team with fantastic heritage, and obviously I do have a soft spot for them,” he said.

“The reality is that F1 is pretty brutal, and you’re measured every two weeks on the track, or every week as will be the case in the next few months!

“There’s no hiding place. Quite honestly, if you finish last, as they have for the last few years, there’s going to be a consequence. And now unfortunately they’ve reached that point.

“Whoever goes in there needs to look at the fundamental reasons why they’ve not been able to perform, and whether it is just finance, or the structure they’ve got, or the approach they’ve taken. I honestly don’t know.

“But it needs that understanding. It may just be financial, and with extra financial support they can be more competitive, and it needs someone to go in there and try to understand what’s going on.”

McLaren are also trying to find financial help, not only through loans, but they are also considering mortgaging their HQ and shifting their collection of classic F1 cars.

Brawn admits it isn’t good for F1 to have two iconic teams struggling so badly, but it’s the reality of F1 due to the slump McLaren were starting to recover from in 2019.

“It’s not, but we’ve done everything we could to put that right, and they just need to get back on the road again,” he explained.

“Both teams have had poor performance. If McLaren had been winning championships and were in the condition they are in you’d say there is something very wrong with F1.

“But in reality McLaren have been pretty poor for the last few years, and F1 is brutal, as I say.

“There are no free rides in F1, and if you perform at that level for several years you pay a consequence, you lose sponsors, you don’t get the prize money you used to get, and it becomes a bit of a vicious spiral.

“If those were great teams that were stopping you’d have to look at what’s wrong here? But you’re actually looking at two teams which have underperformed for several years.”

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