Williams says he will stay in control

Frank Williams has denied that the sale of some of his equity in the Formula 1 team that bears his name means he will step back from the running the squad

Williams says he will stay in control

The Williams team principal announced on Friday that he and engineering director Patrick Head had sold a minority stake in the former world champion team to an Austrian investment company led by businessman and amateur racer Toto Wolff.

But he has insisted that he will remain in full control of the organisation for the foreseeable future.

"I have no intention of stopping my involvement in this company or of ceasing my Formula 1 activities," Williams said.

"I cannot stress highly enough that Toto is a minority shareholder. The company is still under my control and I will not relinquish control of the business until I go completely.

"It's simply that 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."

Williams said that the team would be unaffected on a sporting level by the sale of the stake, but that Wolff's involvement in the team could open the door to many new sponsors, due to his extensive business connections.

"Nothing changes really," he said. "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, and comes in every day.

"Of course Toto is a very shrewd businessman and has created and invested in a number of businesses and sold them on for a profit, so him being involved in a benefit to everyone who supports the team, namely our partners and team members.

"Certainly he can be very useful in finding sponsors. It's an area where he can, I'm sure, be very active."

Wolff confirmed that his stake in Williams is "between 10 and 49 per cent."

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