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GP Week : Issue 167
BRIEFLY » Plans for a French Grand Prix may not be entirely dead in the water, with both Paul Ricard and Magny-Cours reportedly both interested in a slot on the F1 calendar. According to F1 journalist Joe Saward, both circuits are interested in an alternation deal with a foreign track, but do not appear to want to share the mantle of French Grand Prix. Plans to revive the race were close to being finalised earlier this year, but a change in government saw an end to high level support for the proposal. Both circuits appear to have raised funding from local sources, and will not need to rely on state financing in order to proceed. » Italian tyre suppliers Pirelli have announced the tyre compounds for the next three races: Japan, Korea, and India. At the Suzuka and Buddh circuits, cars will be shod in the hard and soft compounds, while at Korea’s Yeongam International Circuit Pirelli will be supplying the teams with softs and supersofts, the same selection on offer at next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. The tyre choices have been made with an eye to the characteristics of each circuit. Suzuka’s combination of high speeds and technical corners makes the hard/soft selection the best choice for optimum racing performance, while Korea’s exceptionally low rates of tyre degradation put the supersofts on the table there. Williams this week announced an upturn in their financial fortunes with the publication of the Williams Grand Prix Holdings Ltd half yearly results. The company is not limited to its efforts on track, and recent diversification efforts including – but not limited to – the Williams Hybrid Power work, the Williams Hybrid Technology Centre in Qatar, and deals with car manufacturers including Jaguar have seen the Grove outfit go from strength to strength. Chief executive officer Alex Burns spoke of the importance of this diversification to Williams’ future growth. “We are pleased to report interim results that demonstrate the on-going stability of the business in a difficult economic climate,” he said. “We have made a step for ward in Formula One this season and expect this upward trend to continue into next season. These results also validate our long term business plan of adapting technology and know-how developed in Formula One for commercial application in energy efficiency, safety and education. Our core business is now generating strong revenue figures from projects outside of grand prix racing.” Overall group results saw across the board improvements from 2011, with turnover up from £47.3 million to £74.3 million, while net profits were up from £1.9 million to £6.6 million. Core business results also improved, with turnover up from £46.4 million in 2011 to £73 million, while net profits went from £2.9 million to £8.5 million. Part of the reason for Williams’ financial improvement stems from a one-off payment from the Formula One Group following the signing of the next round of the Concorde Agreement. The size of the payment is unspecified, with the team saying only: “The notable increases in half year turnover and profit are largely due to our diversification strategy as well as the recent receipt of a one off payment following a new commercial agreement for our continued commitment to Formula One.” “Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history and these promising results are indicative of this,” said team founder and principal Sir Frank Williams. “We have made good progress on track this year, thanks in part to a new technical team, which has seen us pick up our first win in eight years. Our diversification strategy is also gaining momentum, positioning us as a leader in the development of cutting edge technology in areas such as sustainability and safety.” WILLIAMS ANNOUNCE QUARTERLY RESULTS, F1 PAYMENT F1 >>> NEWS 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: