Williams on right track but losses deepen

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The owner of the Williams F1 team said its losses widened yesterday even as the outfit begins to find form on the track again.

Williams Grand Prix Holdings said losses deepened to £18.8m from £2.8m a year ago, due to a non-recurring sponsorship payment 12 months ago. Sales fell to £46.6m from £56.4m.

The team, which has won nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ championships, is enjoying a renaissance on the track and is currently fourth in the constructors’ table after spending years as a mid-field outfit.

The Oxfordshire-based group also runs Williams Advanced Engineering, a unit that sells F1 technology to other manufacturing groups. It is currently working on a project with Go-Ahead to improve the fuel efficiency of its buses.

Chief executive Mike O’Driscoll said: “At the beginning of the second half of last year we began an ambitious strategy to rebuild the Formula One organisation, develop a strong advanced engineering division, and divest non-core operations. We have already made substantial progress.

“This strategy has required significant investment, as illustrated by our first half results, and it is anticipated that this will also impact the full year results.”

Last year the team hired veteran engineer Pat Symonds to redesign its F1 car, and so far the results have led its lead driver Valtteri Bottas to fifth in the driver’s standings.