George Russell, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Russell welcomes news of Williams sale following “nervy time”

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Williams driver George Russell welcomed the news of the team’s sale to Dorilton and said it is “very important” their historic name will be retained.

The compared announced in May it was seeking new investment and confirmed last week it has been acquired by the US-based private investment firm. Russell said the announcement is “very positive news for Williams as a whole and everybody who works for the team and for both of us as drivers.”

“It was obviously a slightly nervy time previously,” he added. “I’m very pleased to see that the company, the team, is stable moving forward and has got a great company behind to to help push Williams back to where they belong, which is definitely higher up the up the grid.”

The new owners are yet to confirm their plans for the management of the Formula 1 team.

“I spoke with Matthew Savage this morning, who’s the chairman of the company,” said Russell. “At the moment they’re in a full review of what changes need to be made and who will be forming the management side of the company. As it currently stands I’m just really pleased to see the news and fully focussed on the weekend at hand.”

Russell said he is pleased the new owners do not intend to change the identity of a team which has won more constructors’ championships than anyone bar Ferrari.

“Obviously the Williams family has been a huge part of Formula 1. I think the most important thing with this change of ownership is that the name and that side of things will be continuing. I think [that] is very important.

“The Williams family would not have sold to somebody who they didn’t believe would be beneficial for the team moving forward. I’m very pleased that they’ve come to that decision because they believe that is the best for the future of the team.

“The culture will not be changing. From a historic side, keeping the name of the team is [also] very important for us drivers and the people back at back at base.”

Russell’s team mate Nicholas Latifi echoed his views, saying the sale is “a very positive step for Williams.”

“It’s secured the future and stability of the team which is, I think, first and foremost the most important thing,” he said.

“In terms of what changes I think need to be made, that’s more for them to decide. I think in the coming days, weeks, months, they’re going to be evaluating everything just like any company would have when they acquiring a new company and see where the investment needs to be diverted to. But I think overall it can only be positive.”

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2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Russell welcomes news of Williams sale following “nervy time””

  1. I still don’t understand how Paddy Lowe came to be such a disaster. Frank? And it was such a pity Toto got poached, what a difference he might have made. Anyway let’s hope this is the start of the revival.

    1. As an engineer who has been through something similar I almost almost sure that Paddy Lowe got stuck between a rock and hard place, then just left out of frustration. Watching Drive to survive I saw the frustration on his face.

      1. I have read that Frank was getting involved in the design of the car @david-beau, inappropriately, but without any detail. But for it not to be ready for testing, by days… it’s quite weird. And they knew Paddy, he started in F1 with them. But none of the media wrote it as him leaving did they, it was all Claire being extremely disappointed and then his leave of absence.

  2. Still think Mercedes are making a huge mistake not lining up Russell in place of Bottas next year. Red Bull (Verstappen) and Ferrari (Leclerc) showed it can work. OK so it would mean heavier competition with Hamilton than facing Ricciardo or Vettel. But there’s also more chance of Hamilton working closely with Russell as his future replacement.

    1. Agree with this. Maybe for 22?

    2. @david-br Agreed. Bring in Russell for 2021. Mercedes are almost sure to win again that year before all the changes. So give Russell that year to accustomize to the bigger team.

      Or perhaps Merc’s hands are tied because they suspect HAM will retire after beating Schumi’s record? Are they expecting it to be Bottas/Russell in ’22?

      1. @shimks, @unklegsif, JC
        I think that’s the point, I’d bring in Russell before Hamilton retires or leaves Mercedes (if he is going to) so he gets a year alongside Hamilton, he experiences a front-end winning team (important) and Mercedes have a benchmark for his performance before the new changes. Putting Russell alongside Bottas with a new formula will be filled with uncertainties. Unless they think they can get Verstappen to sign in Lewis’s place.

    3. George learning the ropes from Lewis would have been mega experience for him.

      Who are BCE Ltd however? The only BCE in the world of F1 points ones mind immediately to a certain Norfolk used car salesman… he did say a while ago he was involved in looking for the right investor, and has always been personally close to Sir Frank

      1. As far as I can tell the only relationship between BCE Ltd and Mr Ecclestone is their initials are the same. I haven’t been able to find any evidence (other than speculation) Mr Ecclestone is now in charge of Williams F1.

        1. @drycrust

          There’s a huge difference between being in charge, and being a shadowy facilitator of finance and string puller, behind the scenes ;-)

          He is after all, quoted as saying

          “I am looking around to find people who could and might be involved”.

          G

  3. The culture will not be changing

    If there is one place that needs a paradigm shift it is the Williams F1 team.

    1. Probably true.

      Seems Williams was really at their last legs. I remember Adam Parr being slammed for being too business-minded and not ‘racey’ enough, but some things just go together and for midfield or backmarker teams, it’s maybe easy to forget.

    2. I agree, there’s a whole lot of things that need to be changed, and one of them is the culture. Is believing in being a “100% genuine constructor” more important than getting good points finishes?

  4. Sometimes when new management come in to “steady the ship” then the company gets dissolved a few months later.
    I hope Williams fares far better! It would be nice to see them back in the mix at some point.

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