Latifi financial saviour or potential new owners


By Andrew Hooper
April 21 2020

For the Williams company the name Latifi has taken on one of being a financial saviour bringing substantial funding to the team through sponsorship and the recent loan which should help them get through 2020 but at the same time could they sometime in the future become the new owners.

 
 Latifi financial saviour or potential new owners
 
Michael Latifi
 

Since the arrival of Nicholas Latifi at the ROKiT Williams team the name Latifi has become the focus of discussions in regard to various topics ranging from pay driver through to loans. But they do have one core element that of the funding that the Latifi name has brought to the Williams Team.

Nicholas Latifi was announced as the Williams Teams race driver for 2020 after having been their reserve driver. Nicholas moved into the race seat after an extensive lead up having raced in various categories with the most recent being an period of time in Formula 2 where he finished second in 2019.

But like so many other drivers who have joined Williams covering the likes of Stroll, Sirotkin, and Kubica Nicholas would bring a substantial amount of funding to the team. Most of this would come from companies that had a direct link to his father Michael. Michael Latifi runs the Sofina food company which is a major sponsor of Williams in 2020. It is believed that the sponsorship that Nicholas brings to Williams is in the vicinity of €30 million.

But like so many drivers before him he would arrive with the tag of a pay driver and that his place in the Williams team is only based on his funding, a position that Nicholas firmly rejects. He is very much of the view that he brings a wealth of experience to the team based on his experience in lesser formula.

In an interview with Formula1.com Nicholas spoke of this pay driver tag. He would comment by saying: “It’s a perspective that will always be in the background for someone with my background, let’s say.

“The reality of motorsport is that it is an expensive sport… To race requires funding, whether that’s from family backing, personal sponsors, corporate sponsors or what have you, but the money always comes from somewhere.

“But I think specifically, in terms of getting into Formula 1, a few years ago they implemented the whole Super Licence points as a kind of barrier to not allow just anyone to come in – and obviously from my results in the past years I’ve, let’s say, more than exceeded those points, and I feel that I did earn my place and I do deserve to be here.”

But 2020 was very much put on hold for Nicholas when the coronavirus would see the opening race in Melbourne come to a frustrating close. But while Nicholas has been off competing in the world of Virtual racing the Latifi name has continued to be the focus of everyone's attention in particular with the recent announcement that his father through the company Latrus Racing, which had assisted Nicholas in his racing career, had provided the Williams team with a loan to help the team with achieving financial stability while Formula One and the team cope with the lack of racing which has continued after Melbourne due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nicholas's father Michael has been a figure in Formula One even prior to his son joining the Williams team having bought a a 10 percent share in the McLaren Group. The loan to Williams was made public with the announcement raising concerns as to whether the team would be able to service this debt and what the outcome would be if they could not do so. The loan is secured by various assets of Williams Grand Prix Engineering including buildings and land. So concerns were expressed that the Latifi could gain control of the Williams company.

Their is a substantial level of the unknown when it comes to the loan such that making comment as to what will happen in the future is very difficult, but at the bare minimum it does expose the Williams company. But one can only hope that the Williams management have taken all future scenarios into account such that they can manage the loan.

For the Williams company the name Latifi has taken on one of being the financial saviour bringing substantial funding to the team through sponsorship and the recent loan which should help them get through 2020 but at the same time could they sometime in the future become the new owners.

 

pqs: qs:
Latifi financial saviour or potential new owners
Posted by: Williams F1 (IP Logged)
Date: 21/04/2020 10:41

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