FEBRUARY 25, 2009

Williams needs a new sponsor in 2011

The Royal Bank of Scotland says it will be ending its alliance with Williams F1 at the end of 2010. This is no surprise given that the bank has lost billions and is now 70%-owned by the British government. With taxpayers' money at stake, the days of wasteful extravangance are over an it is no surprise that the Williams deal will not be renewed. The bank has cut back on all of its sponsorships.

Williams has the budget to race in 2009 and 2010 but will now need to find a big new sponsor in 2011, although the planned cost-cutting programme in F1 should reduce the budgets considerably. The team admits that it is tough to find new sponsorship at the moment but hopes that by the end of 2010 the economic situation - and the team's results - will have improved by then.

Other teams have much more pressing needs to find new money, notably Honda and Renault.