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Williams reveals profit and new hybrid supercar project with Jaguar
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Williams reveals profit and new hybrid supercar project with Jaguar
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 May 2011   |  9:09 am GMT  |  29 comments

Williams F1 team has announced its results for the 2010 financial year and it shows that while the team’s turnover has shrunk from £108.3 million to £91 million – a drop of 8.5%, its profits increased by 28% from £4.5 million to £5.8 million.

At the same time it has announced that it is collaborating with Jaguar, now owned by Tata Motors, on the hybrid supercar, C-X75.


The team floated some of the shares on the Franfurt stock exchange in March, the method by which founder and engineering boss Patrick Head could make his exit. These have fluctuated quite a bit since floatation. Head said in Australia that although he has cashed in most of his shareholding, he is likely to move across to be involved in the Williams Hybrid business, which will include the Jaguar project.

The arrival of the Resource Restriction Agreement and the move away from manufacturer dominated F1 has been a blessing for Williams meaning that they can survive with turnover of £91 million, a relatively low figure compared to the crazy numbers of a few years ago, when Williams was finding it hard to compete. Frank Williams made a point when announcing the figures of saying that the sponsorship climate has been extremely harsh in the last year or two. The signing of the Venezuelan oil company deal has been a life saver in that respect as blue chip sponsors like RBS and Phillips fell by the wayside.

Although the core business of the team is F1 racing, Williams has diversified as an engineering firm in recent years, particularly into hybrid technology and has a partnership with the Qatar government to develop commercial uses for the hybrid technology, which should provide a steady revenue stream in future. The aim is to develop the flywheel technology for use on buses and trains and wind farms.

Meanwhile Williams this weekend also announced that it has gone into partnership with Jaguar to build the C-X75, a hybrid supercar which will have supercar performance with just 99/km CO2 emissions. The vehicle will go from 0-100mph in 6 seconds and have over 200mph top speed.

Legendary Jaguar designer Ian Callum said that the C-X75 will be ‘the finest looking and most innovative Jaguar every produced” which given some of he classics that have worn the ‘leaper’ badge over the years, is quite a statement.

The announcement of this supercar partly explains why chairman Adam Parr dropped that line into a Reuters interview recently about F1 running on electric only in the pit lane – here was an example of high performance and electric working together and lo and behold Williams is going to be doing something similar.

But the move is quite significant in that Jaguar got pretty badly burnt by F1 during its short and inglorious stay in the sport in the early 2000s, ironically centred on the same Milton Keynes-based team which is now a world beater, rebranded as Red Bull Racing.

Williams has plenty of challenges ahead however. The technical department is being restructured with Sam Michael making way for Mike Coughlan in a phased handover this year. Also there are some strained relationships within the team as it passes through a rocky period of change.

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29 Comments
  1. sean hastie says:

    hey james as always great piece of writing here! like many it sad to see williams performing so poorly this season although they looked a little stronger in turkey still think though as will be a tough year for them and probably next year too with all the changes happening within the team, my question is do you think this partnership will lead to williams running jaguar badged engines when the new regs come in? or any type of jaguar sponsership as would be great to see the great name back involved in f1 again?

    1. Andy C says:

      You have to wonder just how that whole Jaguar thing would have turned out in F1 if Adrian Newey had gone there.

      Believe he nearly went becuase of his connection with Bobby Rahal. Would have been great.

  2. dr mac says:

    Good luck Williams

  3. At last some good news about Williams. I am sure a lot of people were longing for it.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Williams could manage a factory deal on the base of the C-X75 partnership. The team hasn’t been the same since the departure of BMW.

    A Jaguar powered Williams F1! Stuff of dream or close reality?

    1. Andy C says:

      I believe they’ll be using Renault power next year Damien.

      1. I wouldn’t mind that either. What a terrific partnership this was, back in the days, they say.

        It hasn’t done any harm to either RBR, LRGP or Team Lotus, so this could be good news indeed.

        Although, I believe Renault Sport F1 would need clearance from the FIA to suplly a fourth team.

  4. Mike Lea says:

    That new Jag looks stunning!!! Hope Williams can bounce back on the track, too. They are my favourite team and it’s hard to see them struggle. I first got into F1 when Damon Hill was up against Schumacher in the Benetton: some classic races and great looking cars. Maybe Williams could tempt Tata to pump some money into Cosworth and give them a boost?

  5. Dale says:

    Williams are responsible for their own downfall. Had Williams been a forward thinker and Newey had stayed they would have a record similar to that of Manchester United in the UK, more often than not at the top of the pile.

    Time for Frank to go as well!

    1. Wishful thinking. Newey has gone both both personal growth and financial reasons.

      If anything, Sir Frank is victim of his privateer mentality.
      Hybrid technology allows them to establish themselves as a business, properly speaking. If the money is here, results will come along.
      Patience is a virtue after all.

      1. Andy C says:

        Unless you have someone willing to partner on the engine side as a manufacturer you’ve got little chance in modern F1.

        I’d also like to see Honda back where they belong, as a top engine supplier to F1. Its in their racing DNA.

      2. Jonathan Lodge says:

        I agree about Honda – but only up to a point. The name has a wonderful legacy but the DNA still exists and is now better known as Mercedes.

        When Mercedes bought out the final part of Ilmor it was on condition that they sold off the part that produced the Honda badged engines for Nascar. The Honda engines were no more Japanese than the Mercedes engine is German…

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      I agree partially on that. It was a huge mistakes but Ferrari, McLaren, Renault all worked without Newey and managed to win races and championships. So the issue is much much bigger than that.

      Frank isn’t managing his team anyway so it’s useless to ask him to go but he is such a huge figure of this sport. IMO he comes after Enzo Ferrari and Colin Champman as F1 great and I truly wish that he manages a title before he completely leaves.

      1. Dale says:

        I agree he WAS a great figure for what F1 stands for (if one forgets how he broke contracts that had been verbally agreed) but IT IS Williams who sets the tone for the team everything filters from him why else is he there at races?

        The fact Ferrari, Renault & McLaren have all won without Newey shows again how Williams holds back the team with his ethos.

        I also agree it’s really sad to see such a once great team now not even in the top half but that’s how it is time to move on.

  6. Sven says:

    I like the idea of KERS powered Electrical motors
    at the front wheels. KERS power on and you have 4 wheel drive, KERS power off and you only have the normal rear wheel drive from the petrol engine. Would make KERS much more useful in racing situations.

  7. jonrob says:

    One thing that puzzles me is why Jaguar need Williams in a supercar project for anything other than the name. The motor industry is overflowing with good design engineers, most of whom lost their jobs due to “restructuring” or plain old bankruptcy. Many of them were immediately hired to do their old jobs but as freelance or contract engineers. One of my old contacts at a major manufacturer had been on a weekly contract for 5 years since being fired from the same job. It is likely that Williams may hire contract engineers to work with Jaguar’s contract engineers, very probably all the same blokes (and a few girls, Hi Marion! ex IBC) who would be doing the job anyway.
    OK Williams will have some kit that Jaguar do not, though Land Rover had a large test facility. (to go with it’s ego)

  8. Red5 says:

    Think we would all like to see Williams further up the field.

    And the hybrid Jag looks fantastic.

  9. Jo Torrent says:

    I find this Jag so ugly, maybe Tata side effects. At the same time the Enzo was ugly and was successfull

    1. Andy C says:

      I like it… dare I say it shares a bit of the shape of the new Porsche hybrid?

  10. VV says:

    “Strained relationships” – anyone in particular? Patrick and Parr?

  11. Ahmed says:

    Huge mistake on Jaguars part, they should have partnered with someone like Prodrive, Being associated with Williams now a days is like having the word mediocre tatooed on your forehead.

    1. Andy C says:

      Of course Williams is a bit of an easy target at the moment isnt it for lots of cheap shots?

      Remind me again why Jaguar would approach Prodrive for a hybrid car against someone who has a track record on hybrid technology like williams (Porsche..)

      1. Ahmed says:

        I guess because Jaguar have dealth with Prodrive in the past. Both being part of a group of British companies working on hybrid tech. Prodrive has tremendous experience in dealing with power trains and now working with converters on hybrid systems. It would make a lot if sense.

        And to be fair people have been targeting Williams with cheap shots for years now, a couple of more years and it’d be a decade of cheap shots. Its been happening for so long its become the norm.

  12. Rich C says:

    Well, Ian Callum is just *wrong!

    The finest-looking, most original, etc etc Jag *ever was the 1st E-type roadster!

  13. BMG says:

    Does this mean we will see Jag/ Williams F1 team in the Future?

  14. Adam Taylor says:

    Its brilliant that a teams like Williams and perhaps Team Lotus are finding manufacture partnerships to improve their business model. Other teams like Renault are using F1 as a platform to reach the wider public to promote business’s not necessarily in car development but other sectors. I enjoy this side of how F1 is attracting potential investors instead of the gaggle of manufacturers that tripped over themselves to get into the sport a few years ago.

  15. Andy C says:

    James

    you may remember we spoke ages ago about a rumour I’d heard last year about a Williams – Renault powerplant for this year.

    I’m hearing the same discussions are ongoing again.

    Renault powered Williams next year? I’d be delighted if the whispers are true. I grew up watching them win together, and Renault are looking for a 4th team.

    1. James Allen says:

      I have started to hear those rumours lately. Remember that Renault is one of the teams pushing hardest for the 2013 engine to be 1.4 litre 4 cyl turbo so an eye to the future there as well

      1. Andy C says:

        They’ll probably just go back to their museum and dig out the blueprints from the R5 GT Turbo engine. What a little rocket.

        I have my fingers crossed for such a deal. I just cant believe they let Hulk go though.

        Werent a lot of the 1.5 turbos in the 80s V6 turbos by the way?

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