Williams was planning new investor search before coronavirus hit

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Williams' ongoing 'formal sale process' was being considered even before the coronavirus hit, Claire Williams has revealed.

Last month, after reporting a loss of 13m for 2019, the historic Formula 1 outfit announced they would be commencing a search for new investors which could go as far as selling the team outright to ensure its future.

But rather than be an act of last resort to get through the choppy waters caused by Covid-19, instead, Williams sees the measure as part of their plan to get the team back competing in the midfield and higher after several years of decline.

“We started talking about the need for new investment last year before the virus was even on the horizon,” the deputy team boss told AutoCar.

"We decided that if we were ever going to punch our weight again we needed support beyond what we could raise from the F1 prize fund or sponsorship.

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“Our overriding desire is to find the best outcome for the team. If that means a full sale, it’s okay. If it means the sale of a majority as a path to a full sale, so be it.

"Or if it means someone wants to come in and work alongside us, that’s fantastic. We could probably scrabble the funds together to keep going, but we’ve been doing that for too long. It’s time for change.”

Williams is confident the company has the funds to see them through until 2021, beyond then though the new $145m budget cap and other changes aimed at reducing costs and equalising the financial playing field is considered critical to securing the new funding.

“The current situation is completely changed by the new regulations,” Claire claimed.

“And funnily enough, the ante has been upped further by the way the virus has affected us all. We’ve come together to realise we have to do a better job of creating parity within the sport and of getting costs down.”

On Friday, Williams revealed the revised livery, following the decision to split with title sponsor ROKiT, who is now reportedly close to partnering with Mercedes.

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Also notable is the increased presence of brands owned by Michael Latifi, the billionaire father of driver Nicholas, who is seen as the most likely man to be the new investor in Williams.

All of this comes, however, as Williams has fought against following the trend set by Haas of becoming a satellite team to the big manufacturers.

And now, based on future regulations, the third most successful team in F1 history is confident that decision has been validated.

“Until now, being an independent hasn’t made a whole lot of sense,” Claire conceded. “But we believe, and thankfully so do the new administrators, that doing your own design and engineering should not be allowed to be a disadvantage.”