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Williams: Our 2014 proves costs are not restrictive

ESPN Staff
December 10, 2014 « Ecclestone disappointed by Vettel's attitude | Nasr wanted to stay at Williams in 2015 »
Williams spent much of 2014 as 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes © Getty Images

Williams thinks its success in 2014 is the perfect answer to those saying the cost of F1 prevents smaller teams from competing at a higher level.

Williams is a member of the Strategy Group which voted against the budget cap at the start of the year, a decision which was partly blamed for the demise of Caterham and Marussia. The plight of those two teams prompted Force India, Sauber and Lotus to lead a charge against the high costs and unequal revenue sharing in the sport, though a resolution is yet to be found on the issue.

Team principal Claire Williams believes her team, which finished third in the constructors' championship and above Ferrari for the first time since 1997, is proof a smaller budget is not completely restrictive.

"For us, from where we were last season, it's such an amazing achievement against the likes of Ferrari which is operating on a budget twice the size of ours," Williams said. "That's such an achievement and, for me, that says everything that we need to say around all of the conversations going on at the moment."

When asked about the demands of the three teams related to cost control, Williams said: "Formula One is what it is. We've been in this sport long enough to know that."

McLaren has switched to Honda power for the 2015 campaign, with Ron Dennis saying it is impossible for a customer team to challenge for a championship. But Williams disagrees with that assessment and thinks her team is a historical example of why that is not the case.

"We have a great engine supplier in Mercedes and we're lucky to have a great relationship with them. At the moment that works but if an engine manufacturer came in and talked to us, why wouldn't you have that conversation? Of course you would. But I know there have been comments in the press recently saying you can't survive unless you've got that backing, it's totally not correct. We've survived for many years - in fact for all our time in Formula One - without having an engine manufacturer solely looking after us and there's no reason we can't continue to do that."

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