Williams focused on profits not racing - Villeneuve

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Williams is no longer a racing team worthy of its glorious past but a public enterprise only focused on profits contends former Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve.

The Canadian, who won the drivers' championship for Williams in 1997, believes the beleaguered outfit is currently paying the price for a sum of bad decisions taken in the past few years, while racing has taken a back seat to corporate and shareholder interests.

"Williams is no longer a racing team," Villeneuve told Le Journal de Montreal.

"It’s a public entity that must report at the end of the year, and satisfy its president and managing director. The company generated a profit of $16 million in 2018, so it's doing well.

"But if the company made so much money, it's because it didn't spend enough on its racing team.

"The president doesn't want to win in F1, he just wants to make as much money as possible for shareholders. That’s all that matters…"

As a reminder, Williams 2018 revenue from F1 was based on prize-money earned in 2017, during which the Grove-based outfit scored 83 championship points, while a meager 7 points were  collected by the team in 2018.

In his cocktail napkin analysis of Williams finances, Villeneuve appears to disregard this fact.

Formula 1 is expected to introduce a budget cap of some form from 2021 when the sport ushers in a new set of regulations.

Williams is among the teams favourable to cost cutting measures, but Villeneuve believes the whole idea of a budget cap is wrong.

"Formula 1 is supposed to represent total excess," added the 48-year-old.

"That's the way it was built, but that's no longer how it is. Today, it's all about achieving savings. They've limited engines to three units a season, and if you go beyond that quota, a team is penalized. That's not Formula 1.

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

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

"It won't 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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