Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams insists the team will have a “healthy budget” to work with next season despite losing the backing of title sponsor Martini.

The prospect of losing its major partner coupled with the probable end of Lawrence Stroll’s financial support has led pundits to predict a bleak future for the Grove-based outfit.

Claire Williams strongly pushed back however on that negative notion.

“Williams is a publicly listed company and our accounts are there for everyone to see,” said Williams, speaking yesterday at team sponsor Acronis’ 15-year anniversary.

“There is a lot of speculation out there with regard to Williams’ financial health. Williams has had a healthy budget this year to compete with, and will have a healthy budget to compete with next year.

“Williams has been in Formula 1 for more than 40 years, and we will continue to be in F1. This is what we do and we always have had a healthy budget by which to do it.”

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The team’s performance this season – mainly linked to an aerodynamic design flaw of its FW41 – has fallen massively short of expectations, a state of affairs that has added to its income woes.

A defiant Claire Williams has vowed to fight on however and face the challenges that have arisen. It’s a work in progress however, and one that will take time to complete.

“We’ve been analysing what went wrong with this car, and through that process, other problems have raised their ugly heads,” said Williams, speaking to Motorsport.com.

“And we have thought about other things that we need to do in order to drive change.

“So really the business at the moment – the team is going through an absolute overhaul and transformation in order to take us into 2019 in a better place.

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“It is going to take some time,” she added. “We are not going to come out next year winning races again. That is not realistic.

“It takes a long time to turn a team around in F1, not least a team the scale of ours. So it is a work in progress but I am optimistic for the future 100 percent.”

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