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Formula One

Williams “For Sale” After Legendary Team And ROKiT Split

Williams F1 FW43. Photo by Artes Max. CC BY-SA 2.0

Earlier this morning, Williams Racing lost their title sponsor ROKiT. The split between the two brands is supposed to be effective immediately, as reported by Williams Racing’s Twitter account. Sir Frank Williams’ team has been one of the most financially affected teams, due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. ROKiT started their partnership with Williams in 2019, and were set to continue on for this season, as well. Reports suggest that the the British team will soon update their car’s livery, which was backed by team principle Claire Williams’ statements, as well.

MORE ABOUT WILLIAMS

When it comes to championships, Williams is the second most successful team in Formula One’s history, having won 9 of them as a constructor. Sir Frank Williams debuted his team in 1978, and his cars have competed in every single championship ever since. So far, they have achieved a total of 114 race victories and 312 podiums. Many successful drivers have raced for the legendary team, including: Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, and Ayrton Senna who lost his life during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix – his third race for the British team. Nevertheless, Williams is arguably the most successful small private team of all time.

Recently, Williams’ performance has not been anywhere near their glorious days in the 1980s and 1990s. Williams’ last race victory was delivered by Pastor Maldonado who won the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix at Catalunya. Last year was Williams’ worst season. The team finished last with only 1 point scored for Robert Kubica, following the chaotic German Grand Prix, which featured multiple accidents and disqualifications. However, it has not been that long ago since Williams were able to show competitiveness and perseverance. Just in 2014 and 2015 Sir Frank’s team managed to place 3rd in the constrictors’ championship. Clearly, the past several seasons have been tremendously difficult for them, resulting in major financial struggles, as well.

WILLIAMS ARE CONSIDERING SELLING THE TEAM

Williams’ board of directors are reportedly looking for investors, which was officially announced by the team, just hours after the ROKiT sponsorship split. According to Formula One’s official website, the team has reported a loss of £13m for their 2019 financial year, which zeroes the teams’ profit of about the same amount in 2018. Furthermore, the Williams’ financial situation is not expected to improve enough amid the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Therefore, it is very likely at this point that potential investors will take over the team. This means that Williams’ iconic name and logo may soon disappear from the Formula One world for the first time since 1977.

POTENTIAL AFTERMATH

Williams’ name undoubtedly brings nostalgia for many, even younger, Formula One fans. In all scenarios of the outcome, their legacy will never be forgotten within the motorsport world. Williams’ current drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi are two of the most talented young men in the sport. They surely deserve a good team. Perhaps whoever buys Williams Racing out will arrive in Formula One with their strong ambitions for success and the needed financial capability. They might even strike a deal to that preserves Williams’ iconic name. Maybe a future new champion’s team will be born? So many unknowns at this point… But for now, stay tuned for official updates on Williams’ rocky future as a team!

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