Williams will ‘fight’ 2017 cost rise


Claire Williams has made it clear that if the new regulations proposed for 2017 include a significant increase in cost, Williams will fight them.

Formula 1 is hoping to revitalise the sport in 2017, introducing measures that will make the cars louder and faster.

And while the deputy team principal is in favour, she says finances have to play a role in the end decision.

Williams told Autosport: "We haven't had a Strategy Group meeting for a while, but the next one will be the point where we know the costs involved in those revised regulations.

"One of the changes around the regs is that it doesn't incur a significant cost increase. That was one of the objectives.

"I don't anticipate – and I hope – there isn't a huge increase, and if there is then we would have to fight against it."

She added: "When we're in the Strategy Group we always push hard for cost control, but as you know everyone has different agendas.

"We've been one of the biggest contributors to the cost-control conversation, but nothing is ever agreed upon in the meetings on costs because the group around the table don't necessarily need to worry as much as the teams we're trying to benefit.

"We try and do our bit, but unfortunately it's a bit of a stalemate."

Williams also weighed in on Formula 1's general finances, saying that at present it is not sustainable.

"I'm not sure the costs are sustainable, but we're doing our best to manage the costs we are faced with at the moment.

"Of course we'd like those costs to come down, but they have to come down a considerable amount.

"For the majority of teams who are going to benefit you have to reduce the costs by £20-30million.

"If you try and look at the areas to achieve those cuts it's very difficult to get rid of £20-30million from your business unless you look at a wholesale change or restructure.

"If you're looking at your costs and the greatest expenditure is wages then it's a reduction in headcount across the board, and nobody really wants to do that.

"Inevitably, if you reduce head count then you have to outsource, so it's six of one, half a dozen of the other, and we don't seem to be able to find what that magic bullet is."