Drifting slightly away from all the racing action in Styria, it seems like Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hasn’t purchased any stake in Williams after all. At least not by his own choice.
Last month, reports suggested that Wolff had purchased a 5% stake in the Grove-based outfit. However, Williams’ Deputy Team Principal, Claire Williams, claims those reports are false.
The Grove-based outfit has been mired in financial problems of late. But Claire has confirmed that Wolff hadn’t come to their rescue.
The Williams Deputy boss, Claire told Autosport that a transaction issue led to Wolff being handed back his old shares. She said, “The reports weren’t correct. Toto, as everybody knows, bought a shareholding a long time back now, back in 2009, from Frank (Williams) and Patrick (Head).
“He then obviously subsequently joined Mercedes, and as part of that move, he obviously had to divest his shareholding. Brad Hollinger, who is one of our minority shareholders at Williams and a non-exec director, bought the majority of those shares from Toto.
“But (Hollinger) has not completed on that 5%, so they have returned back to Toto’s hands. Toto has not bought any new shares in the business in the recent past. It was just an issue with the transaction.”
However, The Grove-based outfit is still in search of fresh investment, to ensure their long term future in F1. They aren’t even shying away from a complete takeover.
Nevertheless, for now, their total focus would be dedicated to the race at hand, and the season ahead.
Despite finishing the race with zero points, there were encouraging signs for Williams in last weekend’s season opener. George Russell might have even come away with his first-ever points in F1, had he not retired due to losing fuel pressure.
His teammate and F1 rookie Nicholas Latifi finished the race in P11, but that was more due to 9 drivers who were ahead of him retiring.
The Grove-based outfit will be looking to build on that, come Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix. Early indications are that the Williams cars won’t be competing just with each other this season.