‘Williams’ future is safe if Liberty follow through’

Date published: April 6 2018

Claire Williams believes Liberty Media’s proposal for the 2021 regulations will ensure the survival of the Williams F1 team.

One of the oldest teams on the grid, Williams are finding life financially difficult in today’s Formula 1.

And set to lose title sponsor Martini at the end of this year, it is only going to get worse for the privateer team.

However, Williams reckons Liberty Media’s proposals for 2012, which include cheaper engines, fairer distribution of prize money and a cost cap, could make all the difference in Williams’ bid to survive.

“I was extremely positive about today’s meeting, I have to say,” the deputy team boss said during Friday’s press conference.

“I think we’ve all hoped for change under our new management and I think today they presented change.

“I think for a team like ours, based on what they presented, it was an extremely good day for us.

“I came back thinking let’s crack open some champagne, because from our perspective if we can get these new regulations through, and if Liberty/FOM do everything they say they are going to do, that they presented this morning, then from our perspective I know that Williams’ future is safe.

“That’s not to say that we were on the brink, or anywhere close, but with today’s sport and the way it is structured and with the financial disparity between teams then the likelihood of Williams’ survival into the medium and long-term was looking pretty bleak.

“Everything they presented from revenue redistribution to cost caps is absolutely everything that we want to see from 2021 and beyond, so I’m personally delighted with the proposals that they laid down.

“I know that in the past you can have these conversations and they come out and not necessarily anything is ever done about it, but I’m not sure these discussions are negotiable. That’s not the message I got anyway.”

Asked whether she believes that all the teams, including Ferrari who threatened to quit last season, would be as happy as she is with the proposal, Williams replied: “I’m sure some people aren’t going to be very happy, if you know the intricacies of that meeting.

“There’s always going to be winners and losers in this situation and sometimes it’s about compromise if we’re to protect the future health of this sport. I can’t comment on Ferrari’s feelings around the proposals that were laid out, all I can comment on are our teams’.

“If their proposal is blueprinted then it does protect the survival of Williams. At the end of the day that’s all that matters to me. I want our team to be competing and hopefully winning in this sport for the next two, three, four decades.”