Williams early-2017 profit boosted by Mercedes payment for Bottas

The Williams Formula 1 team's profit during the first half of 2017 was boosted by a payment from Mercedes for releasing Valtteri Bottas, Autosport understands

Williams early-2017 profit boosted by Mercedes payment for Bottas

When Nico Rosberg announced his shock retirement following his 2016 world championship win, Mercedes recruited Bottas as his replacement to partner Lewis Hamilton.

Autosport understands Williams received a payment in the region of £10million for allowing Bottas to leave, with Felipe Massa coming out of retirement to fill the void alongside rookie Lance Stroll.

On Tuesday, the William team's latest financial results revealed the racing arm of the business made a profit of more than £10.4million.

The team's prize money dropped as a result of finishing fifth in the constructors' championship, however the impact was reduced given the strength of the dollar, in which revenues are paid, against the pound.

"FOM (Formula One Management) and sponsorship income is broadly consistent between 2016 and 2017," Williams CEO Mike O'Driscoll told Autosport.

"The primary performance between 2016 and 2017 was driven by a one-off non-recurring item which we had to recognise in the first half of 2017."

O'Driscoll said he expected Williams's income to remain stable going forward, but highlighted the increasing financial challenges of competing in F1 - with talks about controlling costs ongoing.

"We don't provide forward-looking forecasts as we're a listed company but I can confirm we would anticipate the majority of our income remaining broadly consistent," he said.

"We're faced with mounting cost pressures as we continue to invest in our performance.

"Making commercial sense of an independent F1 team in today's environment is dependent on agreement of sensible cost controls and a much fairer distribution of revenue and we're a long way from both today.

"We're also optimistic that FOM will be able to substantially grow top line revenue and profitability in the coming years and boost returns for all of the teams competing in F1.

"Realistically I would anticipate that any cost cap would require a sensible glide path to enable all the teams to reach it in an appropriate way."

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