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F1 | Williams Sold To American Investment Firm

The Williams Formula One team have now officially moved out of the hands of the Williams family for the first time since its founding by Sir Frank Williams in the mid 1970's.
  • Team will retain Williams branding for immediate future.
  • Expected to remain at Grove HQ.
  • Now owned by US investment company Dorilton Capital.
The end of an era is here for Williams Racing, as the second most successful team in Formula One have today announced that Dorilton Capital have successfully completed the purchase of the team - moving ownership away from the Williams family for the first time since Williams Grand Prix Engineering was founded back in 1978 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head.


Having not enjoyed the most successful of periods within their long and illustrious history in recent years, Williams confirmed they have been looking for additional funding for some time now, and aided by a much stronger 2020 challenger and the impending cost cap restrictions coming to Formula One from 2022. That investment has now arrived in the form of new US based ownership - something the team are confident will help Williams push back towards the pointy end of the Formula One grid:

“The Strategic Review was a useful process to go through and proved that both Formula One and Williams have credibility and value. We have now reached a conclusion and we are delighted that Dorilton are the new owners of the team" said Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principa​

"When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognised the team’s potential and who could unlock its power. In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future.
As a family we have always put our team first. Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from start. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but most importantly will provide a path to success. We are enormously grateful to Dorilton for the faith they have shown in our team and we look forward to working with them now.
I would also like to thank the Williams Board and our advisers who have worked tirelessly over the past months to make this happen and our employees who have remained steadfastly loyal.”

Williams Middle 2.jpg


The ownership change should be effective immediately, with no plans to initially change either the chassis designation or name of the outfit in the short term. It remains unclear what the future may look like for the Grove based squad, however Matthew Savage, Chairman of Dorilton Capital appears keen to build on the foundations already in place at the squad.
“We are delighted to have invested in Williams and we are extremely excited by the prospects for the business. We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style, which will allow the team to focus on its objective of returning to the front of the grid. We look forward to working with the Williams team in carrying out a detailed review of the business to determine in which areas new investment should be directed. We also recognise the world class facilities at Grove and confirm that there are no plans to relocate.”

Part of me is happy to see much needed investment injected into my favourite team on the grid, whilst part of me morns the loss of one of Formula Ones' last independent constructor outfits - and a low key ending to the greatly impressive career of Frank Williams in Formula One.

Hopefully bright times ahead for this once great team.



For more news from the world of Formula One racing, and to engage with our highly knowledgeable community, head over to the RaceDepartment F1 sub forum and get a thread fired up today!

williams footer.jpg
 

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Terry Rock

2000RPM
Oct 24, 2009
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1,378
Wow!
Just read about this in the Financial Times.
While I like the fact that the Williams name continues in F1, I was actually hoping for a 'fairy-tale' rise again.
A kind of 'David versus Goliath' modern-day F1 story....part II.
I believe they were truly humbled by their fall to the back of the grid after years of... 'We'll pay less, if you want to win a WDC in our car' stance.
I fear what'll happen to them from here on in...since American investors tend to have little patience when things aren't going to plan immediately.
Haas has surprised me a little in that regard.
Though it is fairly short order, I am surprised he is not actively 'hunting' for a buyer.
It is not a swing at anybody. It is just a trend here in North America.
Williams may indeed yet wind up being sold off multiple times.
Let's keep our fingers crossed.
 
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Boonatix

25RPM
Premium
May 16, 2020
25
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If it means they can stay and continue and provide a safe environment for their employees and keep everyone at hand... I am fine with that step. It seems to have been inevitable for quite some time now, especially with 2020 being a really tough nut to crack!
 
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Eckhart von Glan

6000RPM
Premium
Dec 29, 2006
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like the others, sad and happy at the same time. and don't forget, they run one of the best eSports teams as well, hope they can go on, too.
 
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danclark

25RPM
Sep 25, 2010
27
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An awful lot depends on this 'patient' style that the new owners are supposed to have. It doesn't sound like the Williams family has retained any independence from what has been said so they may be at the mercy of the new owners with regard to strategic and sporting decisions.

Really hope this works out and enables Williams to get back towards the front. I'm just a bit cautious because how many times before have we seen investment groups buy stakes or entire teams and then lose interest once they realise actually making any money from F1 is incredibly difficult if you aren't the rights holder. e.g. Genii Capital and 'Lotus'.

For that reason, I'd be more comfortable if they had been bought by an enthusiast as a passion project.
 

Will Mazeo

2000RPM
May 25, 2015
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Sad for Sir Williams, should have invested on a better leadership when there was time. Good to see the team will continue at least

An awful lot depends on this 'patient' style that the new owners are supposed to have. It doesn't sound like the Williams family has retained any independence from what has been said so they may be at the mercy of the new owners with regard to strategic and sporting decisions.

Really hope this works out and enables Williams to get back towards the front. I'm just a bit cautious because how many times before have we seen investment groups buy stakes or entire teams and then lose interest once they realise actually making any money from F1 is incredibly difficult if you aren't the rights holder. e.g. Genii Capital and 'Lotus'.

For that reason, I'd be more comfortable if they had been bought by an enthusiast as a passion project.
It looks like a bet on the new regs. Hopefully it works
 

Rodger Davies

100RPM
Apr 17, 2011
201
133
Does anyone know if this includes Williams Advanced Engineering? I don't know what their corporate structure looks like.
 

ermo

250RPM
Premium
Dec 24, 2009
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360
My guess is that this is in part helped by the new Concorde Agreement that sets new and more sustainable commercial and sporting terms going forward.

Here's hoping the Williams name stays on the grid for the duration of the new agreement.
 

BillyBobSenna

100RPM
Premium
Dec 30, 2010
199
208
I look to see multiple changes in ownership over the next few years. "Investment Firms" are notorious for "hit and quit it" tactics. Clare is out I am sure.
I'm sure Clare is out also. I think she will be very happy about this and that was a key motivator.

I hope this statement is accurate for what is going to happen.
“We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style"
 
Apr 22, 2020
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An end to an era, it was just a matter of time for the inevitable, but at least is going to be an exciting fresh start for Williams