Not good signs at all: A graph showing how Williams’ share price has plummeted since it was listed in early March [Frankfurt Stock Exchange]

Just weeks after listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Williams F1 team’s share price has plummeted in the wake of the team’s worst start to a championship season since 1979.

A 28% shareholding in the team – much of it owned by team co-founder Patrick Head – was publically listed a little less than two months ago, making an unconvincing debut as a public company when its shares closed below the issue price after the first day of trading.

And things have done little to improve since, with the value of the shareholding – much of it snaffled up by the Cyrte Group – some 27% lower. To put this in context, Cyrte’s shareholding is worth some €3.3 million less than what they outlaid to buy a 5% stake in the team.

The team’s dreadful start to the 2011 championship season – it is yet to finish in the points and has made the chequered flag twice in six combined starts – won’t have held investor confidence in the squad, which is also rumoured to be set to significantly restructure its technical department headcount.

And the poor championship start won’t encourage prospective sponsors to come on board either, with this year’s FW33 still sporting plenty of vacant real estate on its flanks that are just begging for some sponsors’ stickers.

“I can’t see any motivation at all for a brand to align with a team that has made such a fundamentally flawed decision,” sponsorship consultant Julian Cotton is quoted as saying.

“I didn’t see why Patrick Head was so determined to offload his entire stock in the business at a time when Williams has had a long period without any great success on track,” he added.

The team’s last race win was at the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.