Williams satisfied with 2020 budget after turnover of sponsors

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Williams insists there are "no concerns" over their 2020 budget despite a turnover of sponsors during the off-season.

As revenue has dropped, the British team has turned to drivers with financial backing to bolster their spending, indeed, even Robert Kubica's comeback was only possible last year due to sponsorship from PKN Orlen.

In recent months, Unilever (now in partnership with McLaren) and Rexona in addition to the Polish oil company have all departed but brands owned by Michael Latifi, the father of 2020 driver Nicholas, has filled that void.

“Sponsorship is hard, it isn’t easy,” deputy boss Claire Williams told Motorsport. “We all know that and I don’t think any team is finding the sponsorship market in F1 very easy.

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“Our business model actually relies heavily on sponsorship and it’s never easy. It hasn’t been for the past decades, but we still managed to find a healthy racing budget with which to do what we need to do over the course of the year.

“We have that going into this year," she stated. "Obviously as you all know, we sold a majority stake in Advanced Engineering, the proceeds of which come into the F1 team, in order to bolster the budget as well. So I have no concerns over the racing budget for 2020.”

After scoring just one point through the whole of last year, generally, the atmosphere at Williams is more optimistic ahead of this season.

"The rate of improvement we are on is really strong," driver George Russell said. "If everybody else doesn’t improve at all, we’ll be well and truly in that fight.

“The team took a big reset with an aero philosophy last year and we had to take that hit in performance to rebuild those foundations, so starting [last] season we were not surprised, the position we were in.

“We did hope to improve at a greater rate than we did, but those foundations took longer to put in place than we all anticipated.

“Now we can really see it in the windtunnel, the downforce we had at the start of [last] year compared to what we have in the car now and what we believe we will be starting with [in 2020].

“The only thing we don’t know is how much everybody else will improve," he acknowledged. "Everybody has improved, but we believe we should be improving at a much greater rate."