Williams’ Formula One team principal Sir Frank Williams will ‘never’ retire

Williams F1 Silverstone

Sir Frank Williams will remain in charge of the Williams Formula One team “until we find him, one day, face down on the desk,” according to his daughter Claire, the deputy team principal.

Claire Williams was speaking after announcing a loss of £42.5m for the team in 2014, when they came third in the championship and paid bonuses of £2m to their 660-strong staff.

She said: “ Frank’s TP [team principal]. Always has been, always will be, until we find him one day face down on the desk. Frank is in there 24/7. He’s in the office more than any of us. He loves it, he’s passionate about it.

“Frank is there, he always will be and he has no plans to retire. It wouldn’t be the same without him.”

Sir Frank, 73, is the founder of the team that has won nine F1 constructors’ championships.

Claire Williams was speaking after announcing last year’s heavy losses, which contrasted with a profit of £11.9m in 2013. The group also reported a revenue of £90.2m for 2014, down on 2013’s £130.4m.

The heavy losses were because of a “hangover”, according to Mike O’Driscoll, the chief executive.

O’Driscoll said the figures for 2013 were misleading because of a one-off payment of £20m made by Venezuelan sponsor PDVSA that year.

He said: “While 2014, at first glance, was disappointing, it really was exactly what we anticipated. We’re on track. We expect 2015 to be materially, significantly, better than 2014.

“We’re going to see higher commercial-rights revenue flow through, in fact we are starting to see that flow through now... and we are starting to see higher revenue flow through from increased sponsorship deals.”

Williams are only now cashing in on their success last year, when their third position in the constructors’ table was six places up on 2013, when they won only five points, the most desperate season in a disappointing 10 years for the Grove-based team.

The losses for 2014 were also explained by the high costs of developing the new V6 power unit. The payment they received last year from the commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, was also based on their ninth position the year before, because teams are paid a year in arrears.

Claire Williams added: “We have to work harder and smarter to make sure we work efficiently.

“It is not how much money you spend – Toyota spent £500m and never won a grand prix – but the shape and structure of your organisation and how efficiently you operate.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Paul Weaver, for theguardian.com on Monday 27th April 2015 20.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010