Williams categorically not up for sale

Jamie Woodhouse


Deputy team principal Claire Williams has made it clear that the outfit are not for sale despite takeover talk.

Reports have surfaced recently that Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, father of Formula 2 racer Nikita, had held discussions with Williams over investing in the team.

However, Claire Williams said there have been no talks with Mazepin since the middle of last year, and nothing had come from those conversations.

“I haven’t met Mr Mazepin to talk about that. We had a brief conversation in the mid part of last year but subsequent to that there have been no conversations,” she said in the FIA Team Principals’ press conference.

“I’d just like to be really categoric about it: Williams is not for sale, I have no intention of putting Williams up for sale. I don’t see why we would.”

The team had been receiving funding from Lawrence Stroll, father of Lance who drove for the team from 2017-18.

Both have now switched to Racing Point where Lawrence is a stakeholder, while pay driver Sergey Sirotkin didn’t continue with Williams after 2018.

Martini dropped out as the team’s main title sponsor, replaced by fledgling telecommunications company ROKiT, and overall poor performances have resulted in a prize money drop.

Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe was placed on gardening leave several months ago, and with Robert Kubica now bringing financial backing with him to Williams, Claire insists the team will fight to get back to their glory days, rather than roll over and quit.

FP1: George Russell's FW42 destroyed by drain cover
FP1: George Russell's FW42 destroyed by drain cover

“In times like this that the team is going through at the moment, this rumour always come up,” Williams added. “But with my business head on, when your team isn’t doing well selling at this juncture wouldn’t be the right time to do.

“We’d only investigate that opportunity if we were doing well. That’s the right time to sell. Williams is in this sport and has been for more than four decades and we’ve never wanted to sell.

“This is what we do, we don’t have anything else to do. So it’s not on the market, I don’t want to sell it to anybody, I want to go out and prove that we can do what we are in the sport to do, and that’s to get back on the podium and win races again.

“That may take us a long time, but it took Frank more than 10 years to do it when he first started in this sport, and I’m sure that we’ll have a lot more stuff thrown at us.

“But you don’t give up when times get tough. It’s a test of your character to continue and prove to everybody that you can do it.”

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