New Williams F1 team owner has no links to Ecclestone

Claire Williams has revealed that the new owner of Williams has no links to ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, but would not reveal who is behind the investment fund.

Williams announced last week that American private investment firm Dorilton Capital had bought the team in its entirety, and is currently completing a strategic review of the British squad’s future.

The New York-based fund completed the deal for €152 million, and confirmed the team would be retaining its identity as Williams moving forward and had no plans to relocate.

The filings made with the sale revealed the team had been sold to a company called BCE Limited, which is a fund managed by Dorilton Capital.

It led to suggestions that ex-F1 CEO Ecclestone could have some involvement given the company’s name matches his own initials.

But deputy team principal Williams confirmed on Friday that Ecclestone had no links to the buy-out.

“I spoke to Mr. Ecclestone earlier in the week, and I did ask if it was him behind it,” Williams said.

“That’s a joke, by the way, it’s not. Bernie has nothing to do with our new ownership.

“Dorilton Capital is completely independent, Bernie is not the new owner of Williams. I am in my role, I’m here, I’m doing my job, and it is business as usual.”

The deal saw Dorilton Capital buy all shares from Williams, including those from majority shareholder and team founder Sir Frank Williams, American businessman Brad Hollinger and Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff, who had retained a 5% shareholding.

Williams did confirm that Dorilton Capital is a fund spending a family’s money on investments, but said she had “no comment to make” on the identity of the backer.

“I can’t go into a whole lot of detail as to the people behind Dorilton, that will become clearer or we will be able to make that clearer over the coming weeks and months,” Williams said.

“But they have done a huge amount of due diligence since the start of this process. They were in this process from the beginning.

“They have spent an awful lot of time behind the scenes going through everything you would expect them to go through to understand our team but also to understand the sport.

“I have absolute confidence that they are the right people to take this team forward.”

Asked about her future in the team’s management and that of her father, who remains team principal, Williams said it was “very early days”.

“For the moment though, this is business as usual,” Williams said.

“I am here in my capacity that I was running the team in Barcelona and the races prior to that, and that will continue to be the case.”

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