Williams F1

Williams F1

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sgtBerbatov

1,775 posts

30 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
ajprice said:
After Kubica taking the PKN Orlen sponsorship with him to Alfa Romeo, Williams have now lost the sponsorship from Rexona, who haven't renewed the contract with them. Tata, Omnitec and Symantec have also stopped their sponsorship. http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/williams-f1-rex...
This was all predicted (in this thread) following yet another very poor year. The loss of both such major sponsors effectively at the same time is unfortunate though - even with latifi's sponsorship/paid seat basic maths would suggest the team are still short on last year's revenue unless they find another sponsor.

A problem no doubt compounded by the fact that next year they have the same car, albeit evolved slightly, so it's difficult to believe it won't be at the back again. That is a difficult proposition to sell to a sponsor. They get hardly any screen time at the back and when they do it's almost always accompanied by the commentators talking about how much they're struggling.
I think we might now know why they sold the advanced engineering firm.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
sgtBerbatov said:
I think we might now know why they sold the advanced engineering firm.
I think there might be more changes to come ahead of this season beginning too. If the current financial juggling gives them a 2019 equivalent budget then they'll get through the year no problems - but they also need money to develop a ground up and at least slightly competitive 2021 car. It's a very uncomfortable time to have empty pockets.

sgtBerbatov

1,775 posts

30 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
I think there might be more changes to come ahead of this season beginning too. If the current financial juggling gives them a 2019 equivalent budget then they'll get through the year no problems - but they also need money to develop a ground up and at least slightly competitive 2021 car. It's a very uncomfortable time to have empty pockets.
Completely right. From what I gather, the advanced engineering bit took a lot of information from the F1 team. So either they'll save there or get something from it from the new owners. Maybe. I don't know.

But they have Latifi who has brought in money, and Ticktack is there who will be providing them money as there's zero reason for his presence in F1, let alone as a development driver. But I would think that the money from them is being ploughed in to next year's car, with the bare essentials being spent on this car. There's no other real way of doing it I don't think.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
sgtBerbatov said:
TheDeuce said:
I think there might be more changes to come ahead of this season beginning too. If the current financial juggling gives them a 2019 equivalent budget then they'll get through the year no problems - but they also need money to develop a ground up and at least slightly competitive 2021 car. It's a very uncomfortable time to have empty pockets.
Completely right. From what I gather, the advanced engineering bit took a lot of information from the F1 team. So either they'll save there or get something from it from the new owners. Maybe. I don't know.

But they have Latifi who has brought in money, and Ticktack is there who will be providing them money as there's zero reason for his presence in F1, let alone as a development driver. But I would think that the money from them is being ploughed in to next year's car, with the bare essentials being spent on this car. There's no other real way of doing it I don't think.
The bare essentials of just running the team last year, including attending each race, seems to have left them with a loss on their 18/19 accounts. The team is huge, their budget tiny. If this sale and latifi etc does give them the budget they had last year, it's still a shortfall compared to what they need to operate comfortably let alone design the new car.

It looks very much as if spending nothing on the 2021 would still require them to run this year's effort on a shoestring. Hence my assumption that before long other changes will have to happen.

skwdenyer

7,505 posts

189 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
sgtBerbatov said:
TheDeuce said:
I think there might be more changes to come ahead of this season beginning too. If the current financial juggling gives them a 2019 equivalent budget then they'll get through the year no problems - but they also need money to develop a ground up and at least slightly competitive 2021 car. It's a very uncomfortable time to have empty pockets.
Completely right. From what I gather, the advanced engineering bit took a lot of information from the F1 team. So either they'll save there or get something from it from the new owners. Maybe. I don't know.

But they have Latifi who has brought in money, and Ticktack is there who will be providing them money as there's zero reason for his presence in F1, let alone as a development driver. But I would think that the money from them is being ploughed in to next year's car, with the bare essentials being spent on this car. There's no other real way of doing it I don't think.
The bare essentials of just running the team last year, including attending each race, seems to have left them with a loss on their 18/19 accounts. The team is huge, their budget tiny. If this sale and latifi etc does give them the budget they had last year, it's still a shortfall compared to what they need to operate comfortably let alone design the new car.

It looks very much as if spending nothing on the 2021 would still require them to run this year's effort on a shoestring. Hence my assumption that before long other changes will have to happen.
If they’re lucky then they’ve TUPED some staff into WAE pre-sale, which will reduce the headcount a bit for the F1 team.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Wednesday 8th January
quotequote all
skwdenyer said:
If they’re lucky then they’ve TUPED some staff into WAE pre-sale, which will reduce the headcount a bit for the F1 team.
That would be good for sure, I've no doubt they packaged the sale in order to be as beneficial as possible. I think on the F1 side alone they have something like 700 employees, and the team with the closest budget to them (quite a bit more now I think), HAAS, has only about 250. Clearly they have naff all to spend on anything potent in F1 terms so long as that huge imbalance remains. They're still the size of a title contending team but have the budget of a cobbled together 'quick stab at F1' for the glory outfit.

My expectation remains that no one will re-capitalise the team unless they get control of it - and that what they do with it almost certainly won't be the future Frank or Claire would wish. I can't see any other way out really, it's just a question of when.. Also a question of how much further the team is devalued by clinging on before eventually having to sell it anyway.

rev-erend

20,137 posts

233 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
Can anyone realistically see a future beyond the end of this year with Williams being owned / run by the williams family?


Petrus1983

2,920 posts

111 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
rev-erend said:
Can anyone realistically see a future beyond the end of this year with Williams being owned / run by the williams family?
No. But I think we all said that last year too laugh

C Lee Farquar

2,631 posts

165 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
To be honest, yes.

Although on face value it looks grim, F1 is forever changing. Mercedes have changed the way you need to work to be successful, not just financially, and Ferrari and Red Bull have changed to follow them.

But if Mercedes and Renault leave F1 as team owners the landscape would be different very quickly.

Williams have been profitable, although 2019 looks like there will be a loss. Clearly the sponsorship situation is difficult but spinning of WAE will give some cash.

Finally, don't underestimate Frank's resolve. How many times in the last 50 years would it have looked like a good time to sell? But he hasn't.

I don't see a controlling interest being sold whilst Frank is alive and good for him, it's one hell of a train set.


TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
C Lee Farquar said:
To be honest, yes.

Although on face value it looks grim, F1 is forever changing. Mercedes have changed the way you need to work to be successful, not just financially, and Ferrari and Red Bull have changed to follow them.

But if Mercedes and Renault leave F1 as team owners the landscape would be different very quickly.

Williams have been profitable, although 2019 looks like there will be a loss. Clearly the sponsorship situation is difficult but spinning of WAE will give some cash.

Finally, don't underestimate Frank's resolve. How many times in the last 50 years would it have looked like a good time to sell? But he hasn't.

I don't see a controlling interest being sold whilst Frank is alive and good for him, it's one hell of a train set.
I'm just trying to be realistic really. This year Williams, like all teams, need more money than last year, not the same or less - and last year Williams didn't have nearly enough anyway. 19m loss by half way through last year... and that's with skimping on parts and making little in the way of forwards progress with the car (no substantial updates).

I don't underestimate Frank's resolve or determination, nor Williams engineers ability to innovate and find steps forward with little resource. But money is needed to maintain the function of a large business and without enough, the cogs start to grind and every part of the business becomes hamstrung - leading to more struggles and less sponsorship in this instance.

I do hope I'm wrong but this has all the hallmarks of business that no longer has the resource to swim as fast as it is sinking. Can you really imagine an outside investor coming in to save the team financially and leaving Frank and Claire in charge now? That's the bit I struggle to believe.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
Petrus1983 said:
rev-erend said:
Can anyone realistically see a future beyond the end of this year with Williams being owned / run by the williams family?
No. But I think we all said that last year too laugh
Perhaps more accurate would have been to say: We can see a future, but not a realistic one.

Big Robbo

314 posts

95 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
For all of Sir Frank's reputation as a fighter and a determined competitor, when does it turn into stubborn and detached from reality? The qualities that got him and the team to the pinnacle of the sport are the very things that are holding the team back.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
Big Robbo said:
For all of Sir Frank's reputation as a fighter and a determined competitor, when does it turn into stubborn and detached from reality? The qualities that got him and the team to the pinnacle of the sport are the very things that are holding the team back.
I think he still can offer a lot to a motor sport team, experience is hugely important even in the face of his own age and fragility these days. The problem is, F1 is now a much costlier game than it used to be, and Williams are set up and operate as a traditional independent constructor, with about a quarter of the budget of the other teams that operate that way. Today, that is by far the most expensive way to operate so their mission plan really doesn't align with their budget.

I think there is a degree of stubbornness/pride that has led to that situation. Was it avoidable though? Probably not. All the passion in the Williams family that made them successful is still there, and that same passion is no doubt what makes it nigh on impossible to consider reducing their aspirations or becoming a b-team - or at this stage, simply selling the team wholesale to another party. As so often in life, the game evolves faster than the individual players do, and at a certain point, we all tend to get stuck in our ways.

Very easy to say from the outside 'sell, sell, sell!!' but if Frank had that attitude 30 years ago, there wouldn't be the same team to save today in the first place. So whilst it's endlessly frustrating for all Williams fans, we have to respect his choices still. He made it, if he's happiest breaking it by sticking to his ideals then in the end, that's literally his business.

I do however hope that certain realities are accepted and acted upon before the team suffering in terms of losing long term talent and expertise. At present the future is bleak but the team is still together and functional. I'd be sad to see it go beyond that point and the whole show start to fall apart and all the intrinsic value be lost ahead of a token £1 sale - which has happened in the past when other teams limped on way past the point of reason.

skwdenyer

7,505 posts

189 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
Big Robbo said:
For all of Sir Frank's reputation as a fighter and a determined competitor, when does it turn into stubborn and detached from reality? The qualities that got him and the team to the pinnacle of the sport are the very things that are holding the team back.
I think he still can offer a lot to a motor sport team, experience is hugely important even in the face of his own age and fragility these days. The problem is, F1 is now a much costlier game than it used to be, and Williams are set up and operate as a traditional independent constructor, with about a quarter of the budget of the other teams that operate that way. Today, that is by far the most expensive way to operate so their mission plan really doesn't align with their budget.

I think there is a degree of stubbornness/pride that has led to that situation. Was it avoidable though? Probably not. All the passion in the Williams family that made them successful is still there, and that same passion is no doubt what makes it nigh on impossible to consider reducing their aspirations or becoming a b-team - or at this stage, simply selling the team wholesale to another party. As so often in life, the game evolves faster than the individual players do, and at a certain point, we all tend to get stuck in our ways.

Very easy to say from the outside 'sell, sell, sell!!' but if Frank had that attitude 30 years ago, there wouldn't be the same team to save today in the first place. So whilst it's endlessly frustrating for all Williams fans, we have to respect his choices still. He made it, if he's happiest breaking it by sticking to his ideals then in the end, that's literally his business.

I do however hope that certain realities are accepted and acted upon before the team suffering in terms of losing long term talent and expertise. At present the future is bleak but the team is still together and functional. I'd be sad to see it go beyond that point and the whole show start to fall apart and all the intrinsic value be lost ahead of a token £1 sale - which has happened in the past when other teams limped on way past the point of reason.
Perhaps it is worth recalling that FW without a top-of-his-game PH has never been a winning combination.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Thursday 9th January
quotequote all
skwdenyer said:
Perhaps it is worth recalling that FW without a top-of-his-game PH has never been a winning combination.
PH?

Yup, it's true. Frank's never really achieved a damn thing without a top of his game piston header guiding him biggrin

Yet he never stops by to say thanks!?

b0rk

954 posts

95 months

Friday 10th January
quotequote all
Williams have reached a point where revenue is below the point at which the business can sustain its self as a viable entity IHMO. It will be interesting to see how the auditors justify the business as going concern in the full year reports.

The reduction in income of the F1 side seems to have directly translated into the increase in losses, even allowing for advanced engineering securing more turnover.

I can only see any longer route being recapitalisation or sale.

TheDeuce

3,938 posts

15 months

Friday 10th January
quotequote all
b0rk said:
Williams have reached a point where revenue is below the point at which the business can sustain its self as a viable entity IHMO. It will be interesting to see how the auditors justify the business as going concern in the full year reports.

The reduction in income of the F1 side seems to have directly translated into the increase in losses, even allowing for advanced engineering securing more turnover.

I can only see any longer route being recapitalisation or sale.
They plumped WAE for sale no doubt. They have seen this coming in more detail than we could possibly have to hand and will have considered everything we could in advance of us hearing about each twist. I think however, that given this is an F1 team, not a normal business - recapitalisation on the scale required will effectively equal sale. No one will hand the current board the money required to make the team effective again... Anyone with such money will want to control the board via majority stake. What does it cost in millions to purchase an F1 team and also bankroll it for a few years back to competitive performance on track? I can't see such sums being handed over to the control of the current regime.

It's not just the need to sell either. With 2021 cost caps every top team needs a b-team, so at least one will potentially want to buy. Not only is sale fast becoming the only option, it's also a timely option perhaps.

skwdenyer

7,505 posts

189 months

Friday 10th January
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
b0rk said:
Williams have reached a point where revenue is below the point at which the business can sustain its self as a viable entity IHMO. It will be interesting to see how the auditors justify the business as going concern in the full year reports.

The reduction in income of the F1 side seems to have directly translated into the increase in losses, even allowing for advanced engineering securing more turnover.

I can only see any longer route being recapitalisation or sale.
They plumped WAE for sale no doubt. They have seen this coming in more detail than we could possibly have to hand and will have considered everything we could in advance of us hearing about each twist. I think however, that given this is an F1 team, not a normal business - recapitalisation on the scale required will effectively equal sale. No one will hand the current board the money required to make the team effective again... Anyone with such money will want to control the board via majority stake. What does it cost in millions to purchase an F1 team and also bankroll it for a few years back to competitive performance on track? I can't see such sums being handed over to the control of the current regime.

It's not just the need to sell either. With 2021 cost caps every top team needs a b-team, so at least one will potentially want to buy. Not only is sale fast becoming the only option, it's also a timely option perhaps.
And perhaps after all they actually recognise that? Assuming no great expansion in the number of entries, there will be demand for the team. That perhaps puts them in a good position to sell a "B team service" to another player? Failing which, there will actually be motivated buyers.

Big Robbo

314 posts

95 months

Friday 10th January
quotequote all
Surely it's going to be easier to buy a ready to go F1 team with their established infrastructure and call it a "B" team than go to a F2 team wanting to step up?

n3il123

1,653 posts

162 months

Friday 10th January
quotequote all
As the bank of Latifi starts to open is cheque books

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