Court confirms Williams awarded £26 million after case against former sponsor

Henry Valantine
Williams ROKiT logo. Barcelona testing February 2020.

Williams have been awarded a payout of more than £26 million after former title sponsors ROKiT were found to have not paid the money owed to them as part of their deal.

The venture capital conglomerate began a title partnership deal with Williams in the 2019 season, before announcing a two-year extension in July of that year to take them through to the 2023 season.

But despite the logo having appeared on the team’s cars in pre-season testing in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the curtailing of the Formula 1 schedule saw ROKiT renege on their sponsorship of the team, with then-deputy team principal Claire Williams explaining that the team would re-appear in 2020 without the ROKiT logo on their cars and all ties had been severed with the company, despite having “met all of our contractual obligations” with them.

A lengthy legal process then followed between the team and their former sponsor, with Williams having initially won an arbitration case a federal court hearing in the United States back in January for the £26m figure stated, based on missed payments to the team from ROKiT as part of their sponsorship agreement.

But with this, Williams recently sought a Petition to Confirm Foreign Arbitral Award at the end of November – to gain full written confirmation of the ruling in their favour.

Their case was then presented to the United States District Court, Central District of California on Thursday 1st December, when Judge Christina Snyder confirmed her final judgment in Williams’ favour in this action.

The final ruling provided written confirmation that the team are owed £26,220,094.25 by ROKiT, along with a further $1million (£813,000) bonus payment, as well as legal costs incurred.

Williams dropped to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship in the 2022 season, with eight points scored across the year between Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi and Nyck de Vries.

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