Williams was once one of the powers of the plateau in Formula 1. She is today the laughing stock of the platoon.
So much so that the british company, badly in need of cash, has announced on Friday to be ready to sell its assets if a concrete offer is made.
The pandemic that is affecting the planet now has forced the postponement or cancellation of the first 10 races of the season. But regardless of the context, COVID-19 or not, the financial situation of the british team was already precarious, to the point where many commentators had announced its demise in a short future.
However, in the light of our information, they are very little to have kidneys strong enough to ensure the succession.
For the benefit of son
The name of Michael Latifi, a businessman from toronto prosperous who made his fortune in the agri-food industry in Canada, would be on the short list of potential candidates for the redemption of the british team.
Latifi has already injected large sums of money to Williams for the benefit of his son Nicholas, who had to undertake last march in Australia, his career in F1.
The registration Sofina Foods, the company led by Latifi, is also clearly visible on the two single seaters of the team.
“Our company announces the beginning of sales formal, one can read in the press release of Williams. We have commissioned specialists to help to find investors or a buyer. “
The situation is urgent for Williams. It was confirmed last week that its main sponsor, Rokit, had put an end immediately (and prematurely) to his partnership with the team. The company specialized in telephony, is involved in several sporting disciplines, including tennis, had succeeded Martini in the last year.
The example of Stroll
In August 2018, Lawrence Stroll has saved the team Force India (today Racing Point) of the bankruptcy when it has set up a consortium to buy the team.
This same Stroll, a billionaire, had also invested several tens of millions of dollars to replenish the coffers of Williams and especially to promote the arrival of her son Lance in F1 in 2017.
However, it is possible to believe that Latifi, equally rich, could take the same approach as Stroll. Both are fans of F1, but they are also willing to pay a lot of money to run their wires in the discipline of motor sports.
Seven world champions
Williams, founded in 1975, has grown from humble beginnings in F1. But she was able to climb the ladder to reach the top. So much so that it will have procured seven world championships with Alan Jones (1980), Keke Rosberg (1982), Nelson Piquet (1987), Nigel Mansell (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997).
The quebec driver, the last to have been successful at the wheel of a Williams, moreover, has not spared his criticism, in recent years the place of his former employer. Since, in fact, that Claire, the daughter of founder Frank Williams, has taken on the leadership of the team in 2013.
“This team is in the process of dying “, he said in an interview to the Journal de Montréal last year. Force is to admit that he was not wrong.
The bottom of the barrel
Williams is 114 wins in 744 starts in F1. The last time the british team has seen one of its drivers obtain the consecration, it was in may 2012 when the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado had caused the surprise to sign his first and only success in F1.
A few years later, Williams has distinguished herself by finishing third two years in a row (2014 and 2015) in the constructors ‘ championship. The final podium was obtained by Stroll, at the GP of Italy in 2017.
But the bottom of the barrel has been reached, first in the private testing in Barcelona in February 2019, where, for lack of a car ready in time, its two drivers have had to make the impasse on the first two days. Then, last year, where Williams has not recorded a single point at the final table.
The wealthy industrial Russian Dmity Mazepin, who longed to Force India two years ago, would also be in line to buy Williams. He tries to find a steering wheel to his son, Nikita, currently engaged full-time in F2.