Williams is hopeful Formula 1 owner Liberty Media will provide a more level playing field in the sport after announcing a loss for the first half of 2018, having made a significant profit over the same period a year ago.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC — the holding company that includes Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited and Williams Advanced Engineering Limited — announced the Group’s interim results on Monday for the six months up to June 30, 2018, which saw overall group revenue drop from £85.9 million ($113.03m) in 2017 to £82.6m ($108.68m) this year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the Group resulted in a loss of £2.7m ($3.55m), compared to a profit of £10.4m ($13.68m) for the same period in 2017. Central to this was a drop in EBITDA for the F1 business from £10.1m ($13.28m) last year to just £0.2m ($0.26m) this. F1 revenue also dropped from £65.5m ($86.19m) to £60.7m ($79.87m).
Williams finished fifth in the constructors’ championship last year, and while it is currently bottom of the standings in 2018 it adds its EBITDA result “is largely driven by a non-recurring one-off item received in the first half of 2017.”
The Group’s chief executive officer Mike O’Driscoll says the current on-track performance is having an impact on financial results, but points to the budgets of the bigger F1 teams as something that also needs addressing.
“We have delivered a solid set of financial results in what has been a challenging half year for our Formula 1 operations, whilst continuing to demonstrate growth in our Williams Advanced Engineering Business,” O’Driscoll said.
“Revenue and EBITDA in Formula 1 reduced in the first half of 2018, reflecting the challenging financial environment we operate in as an independent team. We are enduring a tough 2018 season on track, which has demanded additional investment to tackle performance issues, and we have been working through these while also turning significant attention to the design of next year’s car.
“There continues to be a large gap in competitive expenditure between the leading teams and the rest of the grid, and we remain hopeful that the future of the sport under Liberty Media will bring about a fairer, more level playing field for all teams.”