Villeneuve: Williams only care about profit

Date published: April 16 2019

Claire Williams says the team are categorically not up for sale.

Former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has accused Williams of caring more about profit than success in Formula One.

The iconic team, who have been on a slump in the sport since 2016, are now cut adrift at the back of the grid.

2019 pairing George Russell and Robert Kubica have been forced to fight amongst themselves, consistently over a second slower than anyone ahead.

Villeneuve, who won the 1997 Drivers’ Championship with Williams, believes the team are operating for profit, not racing glory.

“[Williams is] no longer a racing team,” he told Le Journal de Montreal.

“It’s a public entity that must report at the end of the year, and all they have to do is make a profit, which they have done. So they are fine.

“But if the company made $16 million in 2018, it is because not enough was spent on the racing team. The president does not want to win in F1, he just wants to make sure he makes the most for the shareholders.

“That’s all that matters now.”

Williams have supported Liberty Media’s idea of a budget cap in the sport from 2021, but Villeneuve doesn’t think it will have a positive effect.

“If you’re asking for a budget cut at say, $100m a year, what’s going to happen?,” he asked.

“Mercedes, for one, will certainly spend the $100m, but mid-pack teams like Haas, Alfa Romeo and the others, will spend only one-fifth of that sum to stay fifth or sixth.

“It will not help F1. It’s bullsh*t. If you want my opinion, I’ll tell you what’s going to happen: the smaller organizations will put more money in their pockets.”

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