Williams posts impressive financial results for 2013

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Williams has recorded a 25% increase in income in 2013 as the team continues to bounce back from a difficult few years towards the back of the grid.

Despite its on-track fortunes hitting a new low last season as Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado could muster just five points in 20 races, off-track financial figures were very impressive as the group’s revenue increased by some $43m to $223m.

Much of this increase was stimulated by “a special non-recurring sponsorship payment” – big-bucks oil giantย PDVSA’s pay-out in order to end its sponsorship deal early and move with Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado to Lotus for 2014.

However, the team’s fortunes have also been aided by an improvement on-track at the beginning of the new season, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas both scoring some good points in the first four races. Furthermore, the arrival of Martini as a new title sponsor has aided any financial qualms that there may have been, as well as rejuvenating the image of the British outfit.

“Although 2013 was a difficult season for the team on the race track, we report these full year results at a time of much optimism for the Williams Group,” founder Sir Frank Williams said. “We have started the 2014 Formula 1ย season well and hope we can continue to improve our performance.

“We made good progress commercially through the winter months and Williams continues to attract an enthusiastic and very loyal group of partners and fans. These annual results demonstrate that we continue to manage our business in a fiscally responsible way and provide the foundation from which we can continue to grow.โ€

The team has confirmed that its operations in Qatar have now closed, with the staff who had been working in the Middle East returning back to the UK.

Williams has an important place in the history of Formula 1, and from the neutral angle, it was rather heartbreaking to see it struggle so greatly last season. However, the sun certainly appears to be shining at Grove now, and one can only hope that this continues into the future.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofย Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.