Williams faces a 'bleak future' without Liberty 2021 Formula 1 plan

Claire Williams believes Liberty's proposals for Formula 1 beyond 2020 have saved her team from a "bleak future"

Williams faces a 'bleak future' without Liberty 2021 Formula 1 plan

Chase Carey and Ross Brawn outlined key points of their plan to the teams in the Bahrain paddock on Friday, including a redistribution of income and efforts to cap costs and reduce spending - all of which is good news for the likes of Williams, Force India, Sauber, Haas and Toro Rosso.

"I was extremely positive about today's meeting," said Williams.

"I think we've all hoped for change, under our new management, and I think today they presented change.

"For a team like ours, based on what they presented, it was an extremely good day for us.

"I came back thinking, 'let's crack open some champagne,' because from our perspective, if we can get these new regulations through and if Liberty or FOM do everything they say they're going to do, then from our perspective I know that Williams' future is safe.

"That's not to say we were on the brink or anywhere close, but today's sport, the way it's structured, and with the financial disparity between teams, then the likelihood of Williams's survival in the medium or long term is looking pretty bleak.

"Everything they presented from revenue distribution, cost caps, was absolutely everything we want to see in 2021 and beyond."

Big teams will take a hit

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley agreed the plans have a lot to offer the midfield teams. He said the proposals would be much harder for the big players to digest, especially Ferrari and Mercedes.

"It's very encouraging, the direction it's going in," he told Autosport."We're keen to support it.

"We have to respect the bigger teams have to make the biggest changes, and we have to help in that process.

"However, it can't be just a one way deal as it was a few years ago, when we were basically given a fait accompli [on current revenue deals].

"Overall, if the direction becomes healthier, and the values of the teams become stronger, it's good for everybody - that's what Liberty and the FIA are trying to achieve."

Fernley is confident controlling costs and spending will be possible, despite past doubts over such measures.

"It could be financial caps, or regulatory, both sporting and technical, with some standardisation," he added.

"There could be a number of things that could make the whole thing work."

Sauber boss Fred Vasseur also welcomed the proposals but said some smaller teams would need help before 2021.

"We have to find a way to manage the two or three next seasons," he said.

"It's not easy because the business, as it is today, is not sustainable, but at least we have the light at the end of the tunnel.

"We won't have F1 without big teams, but we won't have F1 with just two teams on the grid.

"At one stage we have to find a common approach."

shares
comments
Bahrain GP F1 practice: Daniel Ricciardo fastest for Red Bull in FP1

Previous article

Bahrain GP F1 practice: Daniel Ricciardo fastest for Red Bull in FP1

Next article

Teams agree to secrecy over details of Formula 1's post-2020 plan

Teams agree to secrecy over details of Formula 1's post-2020 plan
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Williams
Author Adam Cooper
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021