Williams has reported a rise in revenue for its Formula 1 team for 2017, aided by the deal brokered with Mercedes to release Valtteri Bottas from his contract at the start of last year.

In its financial report published on Friday, Williams stated the revenue of its F1 team had risen to £125.6 million for 2017, up from £116.7m for the previous year.

This was in part achieved by the deal agree with Mercedes to allow Bottas to leave Williams before the end of his contract following Nico Rosberg's shock decision to retire at the end of the 2016 season, with an agreement being struck in early 2017.

While Williams had to pay an increased wage to the returning Felipe Massa, who had been due to retire from F1, it is understood to have received a lump sum for allowing Bottas to depart.

Williams' technical group, Williams Advanced Engineering, also reported a rise in revenue, up to £39.5m from £36.9m in 2016, while there was a fall in revenue accrued from other projects such as Williams Heritage and the Williams Conference Centre.

In total, the Williams Group experienced a £1.2m fall in revenue year-on-year, but has an improved operating free cash flow.

"The team at Williams delivered solid results last year and our 2017 financial performance reflects that continued progress,” said Mike O’Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer.

“Revenue was up at both the Formula 1 operation and Williams Advanced Engineering in 2017, following on from a strong performance in 2016. Our results gave us confidence to continue investing in our facility and technical capabilities.

“Our Formula 1 team maintained fifth place position in the FIA Constructors’ Championship for the second successive year. Williams Martini Racing was the only team, outside of the top three, to reach the podium in 2017, which was achieved by Lance Stroll at the Azerbaijan GP. This illustrates the large gap in competitive expenditure between the leading teams and the rest of the grid.

"We are hopeful that Liberty Media’s long-term vision for the future of the sport can deliver a more level playing field, on which all teams can compete more fairly. In the meantime, we are intensely focused on improving our own performance, following a tough start to this season’s campaign."

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