Williams: Changing F1 business model could prompt strategy rethink

Williams would not be too proud to rethink its business model amid changes in Formula 1's environment, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams

Williams: Changing F1 business model could prompt strategy rethink

Williams has raced as an independent constructor in F1 for over 40 years, but slumped to its worst season in 2019 as it scored just one point and finished last in the championship.

A number of the teams ahead in the midfield enjoy links to some of the front-running outfits, such as between Haas and Ferrari, and AlphaTauri and Red Bull, taking as many listed parts for their own cars as possible.

Racing Point opted to focus the design of its 2020 car on the championship-winning Mercedes W11 from '19, and sources some parts from the Brackley-based team.

Claire Williams has previously been clear about Williams' wish to stay completely independent, but said the team could not be too proud to rule out ever changing its approach.

"We're very proud of the fact that we're an independent constructor, and it courses through our DNA to send a car out that we know that we've designed and built in-house at Williams," Williams said.

"But the business model in Formula 1 is changing. And you've always got to have an eye on ensuring your business model remains sustainable.

"You can't just have just a dream. Pride comes before a fall at the end of the day. So it's always something that we're looking at."

Williams revealed the team had outsourced some of the manufacturing for the new FW43 car to "alleviate the pressure" in areas where it had "fallen down" in recent years.

She added said that while this showed the team's willingness to adapt, the planned budget cap for 2021 would play back to its stance of wishing to retain as much independence as possible.

"We have adapted based on the environment that we are trying to operate in at the moment, but it's not something that we're actively looking at the moment," Williams said.

"Certainly we'd want to retain a lot of that independence going into the future, and I certainly think that the cost cap coming in now will play back into the independent teams' hands.

"We lobbied at Williams as a number of other teams did to make sure the listed parts list was less diluted than it has been over the past few years. So we're really pleased to see that.

"I'm hoping that it will come back to us a little bit. But I wouldn't at the moment be wanting to put another team's rear end on a Williams.

"We've got to do this ourselves in the best way that we can."

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