"Going racing is critical this year," says Williams


If you're not interested in eSports, virtual racing, then in many ways there is very little happening in the world of F1 right now.

While some sections of the media are now focussing on the history of the sport and others find ever more obscure subjects for their relentless picture galleries, behind the scenes there is still quite a bit going on... and we don't mean Chase Carey's plans for an 18 race calendar.

Though much of the debate in recent weeks has centred on the budget cap, the fact is that unless the season gets going sometime soon some teams might not be around to have to worry about the spending limit, indeed, the sport itself could - as Ross Brawn put it - "collapse".

One of the teams at risk is Williams, Britain's most successful F1 team in terms of constructors' titles.

Recently, the Grove-based outfit was forced to put the family silver on the line in order to secure a loan of at least 50m from Michael Latifi.

Should Williams default on the loan, Latifi would effectively get the team lock, stock and barrel, certainly in terms of its assets, though Sir Frank and others would retain control of the actual company.

Aware that the longer the current situation drags on, Claire Williams has reiterated the need for her team to go racing again… and soon.

"It is an incredibly difficult environment that Formula 1 finds itself in right now," she told Sky Sports News. "But that's shared by many businesses around the world due to this unprecedented situation.

"That is why we have spent so much time locked away in so many meetings to make sure we do everything we need to, 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 are able go racing again, particularly for a team like ours, we are one of the few true independents left. We don't have the backing that the majority of our competitors have up and down the grid.

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

"It is incredibly worrying at the moment regarding what is going to happen, because the situation is so fluid," she added. "We just can't foresee into the future whether we will have 15 races, eight races or zero races. Clearly we hope it is more, rather than less."

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Published: 21/04/2020
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