Wolff: Value of privateers will rise

Christian 'Toto' Wolff, the businessman and financial manager from Vienna who has bought a minority stake in the Williams team, says his decision is purely commercial

Wolff: Value of privateers will rise

The 37-year-old, a part-time racer and rally driver, purchased a stake in the team that will see him own between "10 and 49 per cent" of the Grove-based squad.

"My investment in Williams is a pure strategic decision," said Wolff, who has been involved in the management of upcoming racing drivers and co-owns a management company with former world champion Mika Hakkinen.

"With recent pull-outs of manufacturers from F1 the value of privateer teams will increase. Overall, I expect the value of F1 to rise again. Therefore this is a commercial decision," added the Austrian, who speaks five languages.

"I met with Sir Frank and Patrick (Head) in May for the first time. None approached the other side deliberately, we just got together and started talking. Soon we realised to share opinions and agreed on the way we would go.

"I have full respect for the racer attitude in the team and the work of Adam (Parr) and Sam (Michael)", Wolff added.

"Because of contractual clauses I cannot reveal my share, but it is over 10 and below 49 per cent."

As a minority shareholder, Wolff will be involved in all strategic decisions in the future.

His shareholding in HWA, the Mercedes arm in the DTM championship, will not be affected by any means by his new involvement, Wolff said.

The 2006 Austrian rally championship runner-up is the current record holder of the Nordschleife circuit and won the Dubai 24 Hours three years ago.

In 2004, he drove alongside Karl Wendlinger in the FIA GT championship and is engaged to Mercedes DTM driver Susie Stoddart.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Author Gerhard Kuntschik
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