Williams reacts to lawsuit over alleged ‘fraudulent’ remarks

ROKiT is seeking damages from Williams for “intentionally and fraudulently” concealing its true capabilities in the 2019 season.

Williams is being sued by its former title sponsor ROKiT in the Southern District of Florida over claims it made “fraudulent” remarks about its ability to perform during the 2019 season despite knowing it didn’t have the necessary funding.

The two sides had initially agreed a three-year sponsorship deal, which was later extended to five years. 

After a dispute emerged between the two sides, the deal between the pair was terminated in May 2020, prior to the team being put up for sale.

According to a court submission, Williams “intentionally and fraudulently concealed the fact that Williams Engineering simply did not have enough money to develop the F1 car which would be subject to the sponsorship agreements to an industry-leading standard.”

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

ROKiT argues it was told the FW42 “had industry-leading performance capabilities, including a Mercedes-Benz engine, and would have excellent chances to be competitive, would place in the upper side of the leaderboard, and would not be slower than the 2018 Williams F1 car.”

Williams secured seven points during the 2018 season, compared to only one point in the 2019 season. Its drivers fared worse in 2019 than 2018, with both finishing at the bottom of the standings. 

ROKiT is seeking $149 million in damages, claiming it has “suffered significant financial loss and damage to their goodwill and business reputation.”

READ: Williams being sued over ‘fraudulent statements’

Article continues below

Williams has rejected the allegations presented by ROKiT, dismissing the case as a “spurious claim.”

“Having successfully won an arbitration against ROKiT in the UK and successfully petitioning for the arbitral award to be confirmed by a federal court in the United States, Williams continues to trust in the court processes in regards to this unfortunate matter,” Williams Racing said.

Williams has struggled for success in recent years, last winning a Formula 1 title in 1997 and last winning a race in 2012.