Williams half-year F1 finances reflect poor track showing

LONDON (Reuters) - The Williams Formula One team posted a loss of 16.8 million pounds ($20.77 million) in the six months to end-June compared to a previous profit of 0.2 million, reflecting the struggling former champions’ plunging track performance.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China - April 13, 2019 Williams' Robert Kubica in action during qualifying REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

Williams, with Polish driver Robert Kubica and British rookie George Russell, are last in the championship with just one point from 14 of 21 races this season.

In 2018, the sport’s third most successful team in terms of race wins, finished 10th after ending 2017 fifth overall.

Williams said the Formula One operation generated revenue of 46.3 million pounds compared to 60.7 million in the same period of 2018.

The overall group EBITDA loss widened to 18.8 million pounds from 2.7 million.

The company’s Advanced Engineering arm increased revenue to 30.9 million pounds from a previous 21.5 million.

“The Formula One financial results primarily reflect our finishing position in last year’s constructors’ championship and the consequent reduction in prize money,” said group chief executive Mike O’Driscoll in a statement.

“There was also an overall reduction in partnership income compared to the first half of 2018.”

O’Driscoll said there were signs of improvement, with continued interest from potential partners. Talks with Formula One and commercial rights holders Liberty Media also held out hope of more equal competition in 2021.

“Although we continue to face challenges in a very dynamic environment, we currently believe the majority of the impact on EBITDA for the full year has already been captured in these interim results,” said O’Driscoll.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge