Williams: Team financially robust - perception of lost revenue not reality


Williams says it is in a “more robust” financial position than in recent years, contrary to the perception left by the team following its 2023 presentation earlier this week.

Williams revealed the livery of its new FW45 on Monday, but despite the presence on the car of new partner Gulf Oil, the general perception was that the British outfit had perhaps lost more sponsorship revenue than it had gained for 2023.

But while the team has lost the support of Sofina - a budget worth $16 million contributed by Nicholas Latifi’s father, the company's majority shareholder - Williams has brought on board approximately the same amount of financial backing from its new partners according to the outfit’s commercial director James Bower.

Gulf Oil’s contribution is reportedly valued at $4.8 million, but the company could possibly increase its financial support in the future if it feels inclined to do so, while Michelob ULTRA and PureStream are also new partners.


“I think we are clearly in a multi-year commercial plan of how we rebuild the team,” commented Bower, quoted by Planet F1. “I think there’s a perception about lost revenue from recent changes where the reality is slightly different.

“We are launching a number of new partners as we go into the season as well so I think we’re in a more robust position than the team has been in for a number of years.

“And we’re ambitious and aggressive with how we are in the market as well and how we are investing in building the Williams brand.

“Of course having Gulf as part of the commercial partner portfolio for that journey is really exciting.”

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Alongside Alex Albon, Williams is fielding an American driver this season, rookie Logan Sargeant. The Grove-based outfit and indeed Sargeant himself have denied that the young charger’s nationality contributed to his promotion to F1.

But given the sport’s booming popularity in the United States, a country that will host three rounds of the F1 world championship this season, Sargeant’s presence is both a sporting and commercial opportunity for Williams.

“Of course it’s extremely exciting having Logan with the team as the first American driver in the sport for a full season since 2006,” Bower said.

“I think we are the only team to have an office actually in America – in New York, in Tribeca – we have a large fan engagement team based out of that office which is led by the former senior vice president of fan engagement for the NFL.

“There are a number of American sports marketing specialists in that team.”

But tapping into the American market and signing new - and hopefully lucrative - commercial deals will also require good results out on the track from Williams in the future.

Can the team's new FW45 and incoming new team boss James Vowles deliver the goods? Wait and see...

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