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2020 grands prix 'critical' to Williams' F1 survival

  • Published on 21 Apr 2020 14:30
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Going racing in 2020 is “critical” for Williams team's survival in Formula 1, affirms its deputy team principal Claire Williams.

The 2020 campaign has been put on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has seen the opening nine races of the year called off.

A new calendar has not yet been drafted up however there are talks of a race going ahead in Austria in July, followed by two consecutive races at the Silverstone Circuit in Great Britain. 

Williams is among several teams that has furloughed its staff in order to save costs, while F1's owners Liberty Media are in discussions with teams over a lower than $175 million budget cap for the 2021 season.

Speaking to Sky F1, Williams states that her team finds itself in a challenging situation in that going racing this year will be pivotal for its future.

"It is an incredibly difficult environment that Formula 1 finds itself in right now,” she said.

"That is why we have spent so much time locked away in so many team principals' meetings to do everything we need, to make sure all of us come out of this, at the end of this year, unscathed.

"A big part of that is when we can go racing again, particularly for a team like ours - one of the few true independents left. We don't have the backing the majority of our competitors have.

"For us, going racing is actually critical this year, but as I have said, only when it's safe to do so."

Williams added that she is not in envy of F1 CEO Chase Carey, who is leading the operation in getting F1 racing again and overseeing the production of a new race calendar.

“It's not easy," she said. "It is incredibly worrying at the moment regarding what is going to happen, because the situation is so fluid. We just don't know whether we will have 15 races, eight races or zero races. Clearly we hope it is more, rather than less.

"I certainly don't envy Chase Carey and F1's job at the moment trying to work out how, from an original 22-race schedule, they can put in as many races as they can when we are in the situation we are in.

"We do not know when lockdowns are going to be lifted and even if they are lifted in one country, are they going to be lifted in another country? How do you move what is in effect an entire sport that comprises an awful lot of people? That is a lot of people crossing borders."

Replies (2)

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  • I find about 8-12 races realistic, any more would be lunacy. And again: I respect Williams struggle of either ensuring the Williams spirit lives on or the Williams team lives on, but maybe it's time to borrow some bits from Merc'? Just so you can survive.

    • + 0
    • Apr 21 2020 - 20:03
  • I would really hate to see such an iconic name like Williams go. I know they are not the team they once were, but the show would be further reduced if they were not on the grid. I would really like to see 12 teams on the grid - not dropping to 8 or 9 instead of the 10 we have!

    • + 0
    • Apr 22 2020 - 07:48

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