Williams has announced its financial results for the first half of 2019, with the Formula 1 side of its group posting a loss of over $20 million.
Last season was the worst for Williams in its F1 history from the standpoint of the constructors’ championship; the team finishing bottom of the table in 10th place. This year has produced an even worse level of performance – the team regularly has the slowest car on the grid, and has scored just a solitary point – but the current financial results reflect the impact of last year’s performance and the subsequent prize money that is based on finishing position, as well as the loss of Martini as title sponsor, which was replaced by ROKiT.
The F1 operation generated revenue of £46.3m ($57.3m) in the six months up to 30 June 2019 compared to £60.7m ($75.1m) for the same period in 2018, leading to an EBITDA loss of £16.8m ($20.8m) compared to a £0.2m ($0.25m) profit the year before.
Mike O’Driscoll, Group CEO, said there were still positive aspects of the F1 results – which made up the majority of an EBITDA loss for the group of $18.8m ($23.25m) – and that other aspects of the group performed well.
“Our financial results reflect a challenging half year for our Formula 1 operations, yet also demonstrated continued growth in the Williams Advanced Engineering business,” O’Driscoll said.
“The Formula 1 financial results primarily reflect our finishing position in last year’s constructors’ championship and the consequent reduction in prize money (which is paid a year in arrears). There was also an overall reduction in partnership income compared to the first half of 2018, although we secured major new partnerships with ROKiT and Orlen.
“Although we are enduring another tough season on track, we have seen some recent signs of improvement, and we continue to attract interest from potential partners as one of the longest-standing Formula 1 teams. This is best demonstrated by the recent two-year extension to our title partnership deal with ROKiT, who will now continue with us until at least 2023.
“Negotiations with Formula One Management and Liberty Media regarding the future of the sport from 2021 have been productive and we believe, when finalized, will represent a much-needed opportunity for Williams to benefit from a more level financial playing field, as well as new technical regulations.”