Williams braced for 2017 Formula 1 revamp costs fight

Williams has vowed to put up a fight should Monday's latest Strategy Group meeting reveal Formula 1's 2017 revamp will cause costs to rise

Williams braced for 2017 Formula 1 revamp costs fight

Other than an increase in front-and-rear-tyre width, specific technical details have yet to be released with regard to the build of cars whose stated aim is to be five-to-six-seconds-per-lap quicker than at present.

The understanding among the teams is there will be no significant rise in costs at a time when F1 has long been trying to reduce financial overheads.

The financial impact of 2017 is due to be aired on Monday, with Williams ready to push against potential increases.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: "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."

Williams recognises, though, her team's voice at such meetings as it speaks up for the independents is often drowned out by those who possess greater financial clout.

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

"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."

Although the team announced respectable half-year financial results just before the Italian Grand Prix, as an independent Williams believes the costs of competing in F1 are unsustainable and need to be addressed.

"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," she said.

"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."

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