F1 Winter Break
Williams announces latest figures – slight profit increase but challenges ahead
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Sep 2017   |  6:52 pm GMT  |  64 comments

Williams is the one F1 team that is listed on the stock market and so every six months its parent company Williams Group Holdings is obliged to issue its latest figures of revenue and profitability.

The news today is that Group revenue grew to £85.9m for the period, compared to £80.0m in the same period in 2016. Profits were up from £7.8m in 2016 to £10.4m in 2017.

The latest dispatch reveals that the F1 team had slightly higher revenues in the first six months of 2017, thanks in large part to the payment made to the team by Mercedes for the release of Valtteri Bottas from his contract. Profits were up too as a consequence.

In all, £65.5m of the revenues for the business were on the F1 side. The team receives only a small legacy payment from F1 Group compared to Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull which receive between $40m and $100m each a year, on top of their prize money. Williams finished third in the 2014 world championship, but slid down to 5th position last season and is in the same spot now.

“The Formula One business generated both increased revenues and profit versus the first half of 2016, largely driven by non-recurring one off items and the revenues associated with project work within that period,” said CEO Mike O’ Driscoll.

“We are delighted to be celebrating our 40th year in Formula One during 2017, and we are confident that with recent additions to the team, coupled with investment in facilities we will accelerate our progress in the years ahead.”

The other positive is that the Advanced Engineering division is also expanding and with its latest programmes around EV capability and the Jaguar Racing Formula E team, that growth is set to continue.

There are some headwinds though, as cost control in F1 has yet to be implemented, while the sponsorship market is tough and the rate card is down compared to the past.

Williams is still rebuilding after several years of underinvestment after BMW broke from the team in the mid 2000s.

What do you think of the latest news from Williams? Leave your comment in the section below

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James, isn’t Ferarri listed on a stock market now?

Wasn’t that why Luca Montezemolo(sp?) had to go – because he vetoed such a move?

Nice article, BTW.


An great achievement for a team with great history in f1. Long live sir William , long live williamf1!


As someone who has watched f1 and attended races since 91 I use to like Williams. But after the senna tragedy and their strange choices for drivers I have no sympathy for where they are. Also the way they treated both Mansell and hill after they won the championship sucked.
They had it all. Renault engine.
Adrian Newey. If I recall Newey wanted shares in the company and more of a say over driver choices. He was declined so left.
Later on they had the best engine with bmw yet that ended as their car was mediocre.
Now they have massa who is well past his best and a paid driver. Are they suprised they are not competitive. What a waste of a Mercedes engine.


To fair I think Stroll has shown some good flashes of speed particularly in the rain but he is still very inconsistent and that and will need to be more consistent than he has been this year if his is to still be an F1 driver in 2019. I get the feeling also that hopes of Kubica comeback next year are beginning to fade and I think Di Resta might get the nod for 2018.


It is absolutely scandalous that Williams don’t get as large a legacy payment as Red Bull! Williams have over double the number of constructors titles and wins of Red Bull.

This should be urgently addressed.


I’m puzzled as to why Williams only gets a small ‘Legacy’ payment compared with McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and fly-by-night newcomers Red Bull. After all, they have been at it for 40 years. Anyone know?


I couldn’t say for sure, but I’d guess it was something like:

Bernie: “You’re a proud F1 team with a long history and we’d like to know that you’ll be staying with us until 2020 at least.”
Williams: “Wellllll…”
Bernie: “How does an extra 20m a year sound, just for signing a piece of paper saying that you’ll stick around?”
Willams: “Sold!” 😀

Some time later…

Everyone Else: “Guess how much Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren & Ferrari get for signing the dotted line?” 😀
Williams: “Son of a…” 😐


I decided Williams were pretty useless negotiators when they accepted that pitiful legacy bonus considering how many championships they had won.
Maybe the next agreement for divvying up the spoils will be fairer for all involved.


Force India do more with less money.

Williams are the antithesis of those middle class people who are treading water until they get their inheritance. Yeah sure every once and a while they do something good, (because of the stable home life and disposable income) but as a general rule they just bore the balls of everyone around them.

You know that look in your wife’s eye that you still haven’t figured out yet. Well that’s her completely bored and unexcited of you. Wearing that pink shirt to the office on a Wednesday to make the week go quicker, makes her want to drive the car into a lake. The best thing to do is for you to drive the car into a lake and at least she will get the life insurance and that 25 year old guy from across the street. She and your kids deserve that. Go ahead man up and drive yourself into the lake Williams.

You see, it was a metaphor all long. The man was Williams, the wife and kids was the public. The pink shirt is the spin they put on “hiring” Lance and Massa and the poor/intentional strategy decision back in 2014 when they could have won races. The 25 year old from across the street is new team owners that will inject what Williams needs.

I’ll be surprised if this Williams article gets more than 30 comments.


Very, very astute and accurate post.


Damn that sounds scary.


@Hello – You could call them Team Penny Pinch. They’ve saved a lot shrapnel, but missed out on the millions. What might they have achieved if they’d not forced Adrian Newey out? I couldn’t believe they’ve taken on Paddy Lowe, a man with a very patchy record in car design, as was Sam Michael who held a similar position for 6 years. How often did reliability take a hit because they choose to buy cheaper components? Why did they allow Renault to make a Williams Clio, but not earn a bean from the use of their name?

Frank Williams is a ducker & diver done good. He used to sell 2nd hand racing cars and as told by a friend of his in the film, some of his deals were on a par with stuff we’d expect from Derek Trotter.


Christ, just reading Gary 2 star’s post above,……………not antithesis but epitome. (the other antithesis).

God dam dislexia and 6am posting.


You just shared too much, like a drunken text to the ex in the middle of the night, you will read this in the morning and cringe.


Slightly off topic from Williams specifically, although I’ll tie it back, I’d like to propose a topic for discussion.

Does anyone else feel it is long over due for the Motorsport community as a whole to give the FIA a performance review. Are they actually doing a good job?

Let’s put that in some larger context:

•- WEC is a dying series, despite strength in LMP2 and GTE Pro, thanks to the FIAs hybrid LMP1 regs. Yes, it gave us a couple of years of good racing, but right from the start, people warned it was unsustainable, and even manufacturers like Peugeot suggested the FIA was out to lunch. Now WEC is in a position where they don’t know where to go next. Judging by the type of questions asked in their recent WEC global fan survey, they haven’t got a bloody clue as to where they want to go next.

• WTCC is in complete and utter shambles. The FIA allowed Citroen to design their Super 2000 regs, make a mockery of competition, and high tail is with the corporate glory. Now they have a series with half a grid, and only 2 factory teams capable of winning (sounds like a theme for the FIA), one of which, Honda, uses a car that they don’t even produce anymore, as it is unfeasable for Honda to design a new Super 2000 car based off of something they actually sell:

Have a read through this article from motorsport.com, and draw your own conclusions about what the FIA has done to the WTCC. Perhaps more frightening that what they have done, is that fact that coming out of the latest World Motorsport Council meeting, they haven’t the damnedest clue about what they’re going to do next. My guess is a fan survey.

Buried in that Motorsport article is the story of the ETCC, a series that has been forced to turn to TCR regs, with the FIA literally needing to grovel and purchase the rights to use the rules and regs from
TCR boss Lotti.

• So that leaves us with F1. In the midst of one of, if not they single most uncompetitive era in the sport’s history. Hallmark teams like McLaren and Williams, along with 4 time World Champions Redbull, have literally been forced to take up position in a “holding patter,” (their words, not mine) until this farce is over. Williams, a team who once lived by the moto “win at all costs,” is now in a position where they need Martini and Stroll money just to make the grid – the Martini money bringing the condition that the driver needs to be of socially acceptable liquor slanger age. I don’t know how to say this without offending someone, I say this with utmost respect, and an attempt to be funny, but Williams are in a postion where they are forced to chose between Massa (a senior citizen by F1 standards), Kubica (a guy with 1 hand), and de Resta (a TV commentator) to partner their teenage billionaire.

This is what the FIAs leadership has lead to. The teams and fans completely at the mercy of the engine manufacturers, who’s only goal is to sell a product through smoke and mirrors.

So what’s going on a team FIA headquarters?? F1, WEC, and WTCC are all in utterly terrible positions, their very existence in question in some cases.

My personal conspiracy theories about why the FIA might be doing this aside, can we as fans sit here, and based on the evidence before us, objectively say that the FIA is doing a good job at governing Motorsport at the highest level?

I’m also curious to hear the list of excuses from an FIA rep why the current situation is completely not their fault, rather the fault of everyone else.



Well said.


We could boycott their agendas by un-following all the teams drivers etc… on social media and when their number plummet they will be less attractive to sponsors and set off the chain reaction. Then they either address their performance or the teams will moan about losing fans because of their decisions. Without a fan base who are you marketing to? It saddens me to think that motorsport could is in shambles and that I keep losing the burning passion of what was because of all these poor decisions.


Not even one agree.

I guess people are so hooked in following these guys on social media that they just can’t live without.


Great points and assessment. Begs the question why Formula One Group has an $18 billion enterprise value. I know one thing, that $18 million is NEVER going to be delivered in cash value to debt holders and shareholders. This is a massive short at the proper time.


Are you suggesting fan surveys are a waste of time?

Love your post! If incompetence was a sport, the FIA would be true contenders.


Older people have other things on their mind than planning the future of something beyond what they will see.
BE knew when to get out. Bloke at the FIA is like a unremarkable french bureaucrat in some municipality somewhere sleepy in france.


@twitch_1…..this must be one of my favourite if not my favourite post from you. i like your blend of passion with genuine common sense.
that aside, i haven’t followed much outside f1. i used to be hooked on sidecar racing, then came wrc, btcc and motor gp but in recent years, f1’s had my attention while the rest hide in their habitats. as for assessment of the fia, we can only compare their current performance with their past and decide if there’s been progress or not. as far as sport is concerned, it should be a competition and all ideas of given teams turns in success should be thrown out of the window. just because a team won in the past doesn’t mean they should be given preferencial treatment to win again. it should be up to the team to put in place measures to ensure they are capable of fighting at the front. f1 is a rich man’s sport and i don’t understand why those who are rich or have rich friends are not praised for being that, rich. skill and talent counts too but so does money.
i think the fia have made steady progress in f1 considering, the playing field has got more and more level in terms of regulations and how things look on tv. my only complaint is the distribution of funds. i think each team should get the same amount and get to keep any sponsorship money they attract…this would put an end to teams dropping out every so often. just 0.1% of ferrari’s revenue could’ve kept both manner and caterham in the sport yet they watched them both disappear.
i’m not sure about fan numbers but i can say that all the fia series have polished up and look better from a distance. motor gp need to adopt some hybrid technology to keep up with the changing world.
looks like the fia presidents are selected by individuals in high places rather than the motorsporting world so they should make the selection procedure fairer and more open.


Ouch! And extra oufh because of the truth in the evaluation.

What will the FIA do when the cars are automated and their campaign for road safety no longer has relevance? Perhaps it’s not just motorsport series who’s existence is not assured. Perhaps it is FIA themselves?


f1 existed long before their road safety campaign.
you sound as it you find life boring and are only concerned with matters which don’t exist, like the future. what don’t you lie about the present sebee?


I love the present. It’s awesome. I’m here,ain’t I? 🙂

Except some products. I can see a clear path to them being much better and changing humanity. Those products are passanger cars, trucks, electricity generation for starters. But also the Formula 1 rule book. It’s basically a TV show I watch, and it’s gone limp. So I hope it is fixed, since it can’t be fixed now for some strange reason, I hope it will be in the near future.


you seem preoccupied with matters yet to happen rather than what’s presently happening.


The problem as I see it is that the FIA has been taken over by greenie fever, they have simply gone down the sustainable, renewable, environmentally friendly path far too far. In same vane attempt to pander to an audience that they will never ever favour. Motorsport is the exact antithesis of environmentally friendly, we burn fossil fuels, we use exotic chemicals, we makes lots of noise, dangerous to participants and spectators, the fact is we go as fast as we possibly can just to get back to where we started from. Being half pregnant (with a hybrid) isn’t ever a good idea, it’s physically impossible for motorsport to ever be green enough, we will always fall short no matter what we do.

Time to give it up FIA, forget about pandering to people who hate us, who will always hate us, recognise that it is truly a hopeless quest and get on with motorsport. Real motorsport, where we make lots of noise, so loud you can feel it in your bone marrow, burn some rubber, chew through some hydrocarbons, look dangerous, go fast and hard. That’s what motorsport is all about, not showing off how half green we can be. All that does is make enemies of both the greenies (who will never support F1 no matter how good it is) and the motorsport fans (who will if it’s good enough).


Yep and it doesn’t matter. All races run in the entire world could be coal powered and it wouldn’t make any difference to the entire earth.

All fans want is good racing with a poorer financed being able to at least win sometimes.


What about alcohol?
It is renewable and it can power an internal combustion engine,
Sebee, alcohol burning V10s are the future…. it will be loud too.
Ditch the batteries and go super light.


Are you Seebee in disguise?

Spot on though. I always draw comparisons to going to see a band. You want to be entertained. You don’t give a stuff about how much electricity goes into the amps or how much diesel was used transporting the set.


All good points!

I’m curious what your own personal conspiracy theory on why the FIA is doing this is?

I trust this conversation- if not your answer – must include FE as a topic.


I personally don’t think there is any more of a conspiracy than other sports ruling bodies.

It’s all about people having power, and the associated benefits of that power.

It doesn’t matter whether you look at FIFA, the ICU, the IOC or even our glorious FA. Full of people that are good at negotiating politics, regardless if they have a clue about the sport the govern.


You make some very good points.

The simplest answer of course is that they have lost touch and have no idea what they’re doing (evidenced by the fact that they’re asking us what we think they should do) but of curiosity (and at the risk of opening a can of worms) any chance on you elaborating on what your personal conspiracy theories might be?


You can say they’ve lost touch.
I bet you they say they’re forward thinking.

At the end of the day, FIA isn’t even a product developer of motorsports, just a sanctioning body. Someone else comes up with the idea, and they put their stamp on it and take a piece. Seems they no longer even write the rules.

And like most products, their life cycle varies. You hope you came up with a good one, but sometimes tastes change and that product goes away.

FIA’s revenue comes from a piece they get of the sports they sanction and automotive clubs around the world, right? If the series are not performing and not generating revenue and failing, it would probably mean their revenue decreases too.

Then there is the issue of automobile clubs. Once automation and electrification wave hits (soon) and people won’t need AAA or ADAC because they maybe don’t even own cars, the whole model is uprooted and may end the FIA. So, FIA needs to really work on its own relevance, let the market place figure out which motorsport series remains entertaining and captures viewers and generates revenue.

By the way, AAA or ADAC membership? Another thing you don’t need with an Apple autonomous and electric iCar that you don’t own and which comes when you need it to take you only where you need to go, then goes on it’s way. So those clubs…they are in the cross hairs of automation and electrification as well.


You still haven’t sold me on the idea of autonomous vehicles, but for the sake of argument let’s say you’re right. How long before those all autonomous vehicles get some gnarly AI and start doing everything else for us?

Car: “Hello sir.”
Sebee: “Hi car. Take me to the shop.”
Car: “Very good sir.”
Sebee: “And while you driving me, please write a comment on JA for me.”
Car: “Yes sir. Any particular article?”
Sebee: “Nope, any one will do.”
Car: “Very good sir. What would like me to write about?”
Sebee: “V8s, EVs, and autonomous cars.” 😀
Car: *sigh* “Again sir?”


Random, I’m telling you, you hit zenith with the deck chair punchline, and it’s been downhill ever since. I don’t mean to pressure you, but you need to come back strong. I know you it’s in you! …but this isn’t it. Jokes at Sebee’s expense are old and irrelevant. Sebee loves good joke about Sebee as much as a non-Sebee, but that doesn’t fix F1!

Why do criticize your joke? Because your autonomous car won’t be doing any talking to you. It will be your phone that tells the car what to do, and you’ll talk to Siri, just as you do now. So your joke doesn’t have to wait for autonomous cars that are 2 years away. Siri can do your joke now. Siri also tells me I’m once handsome and funny guy – and she knows her stuff!

And once again, I’m on topic of the string here, which is a very interesting string Twitch of some number or other started here. So good, you are all in this exchange, right?


To be honest, I don’t even remember that deck chair joke (though I’m glad you got a chuckle from it 🙂 ) and as for jokes at your expense, fair to say and fair enough – In the future I’ll try to back off a bit.

But as for talking to my phone? No – I talk to *people* on my phone, but I don’t actually talk to the phone itself.

Come to think of it, I don’t talk to my car either – I just put my foot down and go where I damn well please 🙂


Was it the one starting with “Two deck chairs walk into a bar”…..


Oh my…did we just come up with a hack for 2018? Drivers will get verbal commands from the engineering room and will just switch the mic to in-car and tell the car what setting to choose for engine mode instead if fiddling with steering wheel switches, all confused.

“W09 Siri, lap 3 fuel saving mode please.”


That is actually a real possibility 🙂


Whoa..:who is Twitch_1????


You either made a type-o, or someone stole your source code and is simulating you perfectly in side this simulation.


Yep, happens to me all the time.

The simple solution is usually to check the number of stars and look for a slightly glitchy cat.


What if it’s a Twitch cookie? Just like Twitch, but original version (1). You know…Black Mirror, White Christmas.


Twitch_1 “Twitch_6, I am your father” said in Darth Vader voice.


Good news here and good news there in Williams, now they need a driver for 2018 and I don’t think Di Resta fills the position, and it seems Kubica have no money to pay a test.

They should try Rosberg or Button, seriously.



Button is more interested in one of the Japanese leagues.

Perhaps Super Formula.


I think Button is more interested in his American lady friend. And I don’t blame him.


Neither Rosberg or Button are interested. They are both done with F1.


Rosberg would want this, why?

Button? Been there. Done that.


Firstly, congratulations to Williams for their achievements and proud heritage.

Williams have been in the sport for a very long time in comparison to the relatively short period that Red Bull have been involved. Either they didn’t negotiate sufficiently well, or the longevity payments are effectively a rebate to those who spend more with little attention being paid to the length of time that a team has actually been supporting the sport.

It feels awkward given the tempestuous relationship that Red Bull appears to promote regarding its commitment to F1.


When the Concorde agreement was last signed in 2013 Williams had not been in a strong position financially or competitively for the previous couple of years. Whilst they are one of the longest standing and most professional teams they can’t call on the same kind of corporate juggernauts that Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes and especially Red Bull can turn to for funding. Those teams also supply large chunks of F1’s infrastructure, something Williams does not, which surely weakens their position in any negotiation over money.


Slight profit increase… that’ll be Strolls Dad 👌
So they’d want another driver with saddle bags of money. That rules out Kubica and Di Resta (unless Droopy look alike Murdochs “Sky” buy a share in the team) .
Wehrlein has the money or another Rich kid with a rich father.


Wehrlein is too young for Martini.
Palmer therefore..


next year they can increase even more by getting Palmer on board.


They haven’t hired a British driver then dumped them for no good reason at a critical time in their career for ages, so why not.


I really enjoyed watching the Williams F1 documentary this weekend, what with the white cars of Regga, Jonsey, Lord Nelson and Brummie Nige et al, but, as I posted elsewhere, I nearly spat out my cup of tea when Patrick Head’s ally Frank Dernie described Nigel Mansell as a “posterior!” and “very hard to work with out of the car”.

Having said that, Williams F1 do have a pedigree of selecting drivers who are “difficult to work with.” Jacques Villeneuve was a somewhat awkward character whose ultra stiff set ups drove Patrick to distraction, Ralfie had something of a chip on his shoulder and surly “what do you want?” demeanour, Montoya was, well, Montoya – plenty of ego, burgers and about 10,000 entourage and recently there was Maldonado……………


I’m a bit late to this party but poor old Nigel often gets the short end of the stick but he’s a pretty unique kind of racer especially by today’s standards. I mean the guy funded his own career from the beginning and even after he had broken his back in a junior formula, managed to pursuade his wife to sell the house and live in a caravan to fund his racing. That’s a story you will never hear today. He had a surfeit of self belief which naturally caused a clash of egos but he generally delivered on his promise. It’s a genuine rags to riches story and becomes even more poignant when he raced against and often beat, the F1 racing God himself, Ayrton Senna who came from a very moneyed & privileged background. Nigel is easily dismissed because of his accent, size & demeanour but he remains a proper role model for any youngster looking to make his way into motorsport. Of course he also achieved a seemingly impossible target: Both F1 & Cart champion in the same year! Like John Surtees 2 & 4 wheel champion, no one is ever going to do that again ever, so hats off to Nigel. Sorry for the long response but Nigel does deserve his place in F1 history, and was royally screwed by Frank which brings us nicely back on topic.


I agree and for every finger pointing at Mansell there are an equal number if not more pointing back at Patrick Head. Webber was the most recent example of someone who doesn’t like Patrick Head and Webber is someone who you have got to think is a good judge of character.


When one reads his book “Staying on Track” it is all clear what a heavy precious bloke he was to the sport


Was the Williams F1 documentary broadcast (if so what channel), or was it a DVD? I missed it.


Thanks for the info – I have a soft spot for Williams – if you’ve not been on a your of their collection I would definitely recommend it.

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