Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Williams lived 'beyond its means'

Antonio Pizzonia drives for Williams
RBS announced it was pulling out of its sponsorship deal with Williams

The Chief Executive of the Williams Formula One team, based in Oxfordshire, has admitted the team has overspent in the past few years.

Adam Parr said: "In the last two or three years we were spending beyond our means.

"That was the right thing to do because if we hadn't done that then we wouldn't have been able to stay in the game."

On Wednesday, the bank RBS announced it will end its annual 10m sponsorship of the Williams team at the end of 2010.

In 2007 Williams lost 21.4million, but Mr Parr added that the teams' budget for the next two years is healthy.

"We are operating within our means. We will be paying off debt this year and paying off debt next year," he said.

"That is a more satisfactory position to be in and indicative that Formula One is changing."

Tough times

The news that RBS will end its partnership with Williams, thought to be around 10% to 15% of the team's budget, is another blow to the Oxfordshire-based team and F1 in general.

The sport is already going through a tough time, having seen Honda withdraw from the sport and Renault lose their main sponsor, ING, from 2010.

As for Williams, they have already lost their sponsorship deals with Baugar, Lenovo and Petrobras.

And as one of the few independent teams in F1, they rely largely on sponsorship as their main source of income, as much as 70% according to team principal Sir Frank Williams.

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