Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Williams put Formula One team up for sale after £13m losses, Renault to stay on grid despite 15,000 jobs cut

After posting a £12.9m profit in 2018, Williams have responded to the blow by seeking new investment

Williams are considering selling their Formula One team after reporting multimillion pound losses by the holdings company.

The William Grand Prix Holdings group reported an adjusted loss of £13 million (Dh58.9m) for the year ending 2019.

After posting a £12.9m profit in 2018, Williams have responded to the blow by seeking new investment. A minority or majority stake will be offered to investors, along with the option for an outright buy-out.

"The WGPH board believes that the strategic review and formal sale process is the right and prudent thing to do in order to take time to consider a full range of options and put the Formula One team in the best possible position for the future," a Williams statement said.

"As part of this new strategic direction, the WGPH board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the company."

The British-based team are yet to receive any formal approaches but confirmed "preliminary discussions" have taken place with possible investors.

Despite the change of approach, the company said it has both the funds and the intent to reclaim its place on the grid when Formula One returns after the coronavirus crisis.

"Any interested party participating in the formal sale process will be required to enter into a non-disclosure agreement with WGPH on terms satisfactory to the WGPH board," the statement said.

"The company is not in receipt of any approaches at the time of this announcement and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with a small number of parties regarding a potential investment in the company. There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made.

"While the company has faced a number of challenges, Williams currently remains funded and ready to resume racing when the calendar allows in 2020."

Williams driver George Russell during pre-season testing in Barcelona. Reuters
Williams driver George Russell during pre-season testing in Barcelona. Reuters

Renault to stay on the grid

Meanwhile, Renault said it will continue to run a Formula One team, despite announcing nearly 15,000 job losses in the wake of plummeting car sales.

The French manufacturer, which returned to F1 in 2016 after a five-year absence, said upcoming changes to the sport's spending cap will help them continue to compete.

"We said publicly and we confirm that we intend to stay in Formula One," said interim Renault chief Clotilde Delbos.

"The news about the new salary cap in terms of investment is very good for us, because we had less in this area than some of our competitors which were spending a lot of money.

"So we're here to stay in Formula One."

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo during pre-season testing in Barcelona. Reuters
Renault's Daniel Ricciardo during pre-season testing in Barcelona. Reuters

Updated: May 29, 2020 02:03 PM

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