Belfast Telegraph

Williams F1 team's revenues boosted after acceleration on the track

The owner of the Williams F1 team saw its revenues boosted last year after an uplift in the outfit's performance on the track.

Williams Grand Prix Holdings said higher placed finishes and new sponsors, saw sales jump 39% to £125.6 million in the 12 months to the end of December compared to a year ago.

It also saw group losses from earnings narrow to £3.3 million, from £37 million 12 months ago.

The team finished in third place in the F1 constructor's table in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, after years spent in the doldrums in the middle of the grid, unable to keep pace with better-resourced outfits.

The team, which has won nine constructors' titles and seven drivers' championships, is currently in fourth place in the constructors' table after just two races in the 2016 competition.

The group said its stronger finishes have allowed it to tempt major new sponsors, such as Unilever, BT and Hackett.

Williams 2016 drivers are Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finn Valtteri Bottas.

The group also runs Williams Advanced Engineering, a smaller unit that sells F1 technology to other manufacturing groups.

The unit teamed up with Jaguar to help build the C-X75 supercar, that was featured in last year's James Bond film, Spectre.

It said this unit saw revenues lift 19.6% to £21.3 million in the period, while earnings jumped 40% to £2.1 million.

Group chief executive Mike O'Driscoll said: "Over the past two years we have completely restructured our business, and our results reflect significant progress, both operationally and financially.

"Our Formula One team achieved third place in the constructors' championship for the second successive season in 2015, illustrating the clear step change we have made in our racing competitiveness since we began our restructuring."

Williams was launched by Sir Frank Williams in the mid-1960s, and by the 1980s and 1990s regularly competed for drivers' and constructors' titles.

The list of famous drivers who took up a seat in its cars include Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, and Nelson Piquet.

Its last championships came in 1997, when it was the best team and won the drivers' title with Jacques Villeneuve.