Williams F1
Health of Williams staff comes first
By Andrew Hooper
May 7 2020

In a recent interview Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams spoke of her concerns for the future of not only the Williams Team but also F1. With the Coronavirus still dominating discussions amongst Formula One there is a push to get the 2020 season restarted. But for Claire her the major focus has always been the health of the teams staff over the financial issues affecting the team. Despite these "scary" concerns for Claire the teams staff will always come first over any thoughts of the team closing its doors.
 
 Health of Williams staff comes first
 

In a recent interview with Sky Sports Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams spoke of her concerns for the future of not only the Williams Team but also F1. With the Coronavirus still dominating discussions amongst Formula One there is a push to get the 2020 season restarted.

But for Claire her the major focus has always been the health of the teams staff. To complicate matters even further are the additional aspects of managing these times in regard to the future financial viability of the team. But despite these "scary" concerns for Claire the teams staff will always come first over any thoughts of the team closing its doors.

With the 2020 Formula One season yet to restart the focus has been on determining not only a viable start date, which at this stage is the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, but beyond that has been the extensive discussions between the teams, Liberty, the FIA and the various promoters as to how to carry-out the races in a safe way given that the virus issues that are still present in various countries that Formula One wishes to try and have races in.

For teams like Williams the delays in getting the season restarted has thrown a whole series of issues in regard to revenue flows while they are not racing. For Williams the lack of racing has seen little income in terms of monies that come from the races.

Claire commented to Sky saying: "It is scary that you could not just lose one or two teams, but an awful lot of teams if you don't get back racing.

"The financial model we have in our sport is that we are all so reliant upon the money we receive from the results in the constructors championship."

However, she added a cautionary note in regard to the push to return to racing by adding: "But you have to weigh up the need to go back racing in order to ensure your team's survival against the very important reality of ensuring that your people remain safe.

"For me, at the end of the day my people are always going to win out.

"I certainly hope that doesn't cost us our team, but the safety of our people, whether that be returning them to work at Grove (the team headquarters), or asking them to travel, is going to be absolutely paramount.

"We will certainly not be sending people back racing until it is appropriate to do so."

On the financial side of things Claire also spoke of the agreement that has been reached in regard to a reduced cost cap with a spending limit expected to be around the $145m mark.

Claire added: "We've always been really supportive of the cost-cap coming in, we've been talking about it for almost a decade now, the need for F1 to have a cost-cap.

"It's so important for teams like ours who are independent who don't just have unlimited amounts of budget.

"And so we were delighted when the $175m budget came through and then with coronavirus we've had to readdress that situation and it's going to be coming in at an even lower level, which is clearly even better news for a team like ours."