Why choose now to sell a stake in the team?
Frank Williams: I'm 67, I'm not going to live forever. I want to take care of one or two private needs. I've never taken a penny out of the business in 40 years and time is getting on a bit. Most emphatically, I have no intention of stopping my involvement in this company or of ceasing my Formula 1 activities.
Have you sold more equity in the company than Patrick Head, or is it an even split?
FW: The shareholding is of a certain ratio and the sale more or less follows that. I don't want to go into too many details because our new partner is a fairly conservative-minded businessman. I would also emphasise that we've sold a minority shareholding in the true sense of the word.
Can you clarify how much this will leave you with in terms of your involvement in the team?
FW: Nothing changes. Adam Parr, as our CEO, runs the business on a day-to-day basis. I have a keen interest in the sponsorships of the team and work fairly extensively on that with all the other guys here. Patrick is still very involved, comes in every day. Adam comes in every day, and I come in every day. We've all just got to get on with our party. I've done it for a long time and I have no reason at this time in my life to want to stop doing that.
Is it simply a change in ownership, or is it going to have a net capital boost for Williams to the degree that it can change the team's status?
FW: It's entirely for private motives. I've never taken a penny out in many decades and Patrick and I decided that it's time to take care of some other needs and pay a few bills - my mortgage, for example.
What benefits will this have for the team?
FW: He's a very shrewd businessman. He has owned and created a number of businesses, and almost always sold them on for a profit. He's only 37, which is most surprising. He's a very clever young man. He has one or two investments about which he's very tight-lipped. It's also a method of ensuring that everyone who supports this team, namely our partners and workforce are taken care of. The present owners are taking steps to ensure that this all continues. As will inevitably happen, I'm going to get too old to do this one day. So I'd rather not rush into something at the last minute.
Will his business contacts help attract new sponsors?
FW: It's an area in which he is pretty active. I'm not going to disclose too much about it, but it is certainly an area where he can be very useful - finding sponsors.
Will you and Patrick retain such a hands-on status in running the team?
FW: Toto will turn up for board meetings. We have one every six or eight weeks, and he will come to as many as he wants. He doesn't have plans to attend one or two, or to attend every one. It just depends on where he is at any given time. I cannot stress highly enough that he is a minority shareholder, the company is still under my control and I will not relinquish control of the business until I go completely. That's not going to change.
Will Toto have any input into the sporting side of the company?
FW: No. That's not foreseen. Sure, if he has an opinion on something, we'll listen. It would be unwise not to.
You said you won't relinquish control until you stand down. Have you set a timeframe for that?
FW: I have no idea. Generally speaking, Formula 1's my life and as long as I'm mentally and physically able, I'll carry on doing it. I have no desire to go and do anything else, or to sit at home and read the papers.