Boss says Williams ’not for sale’
"I haven’t met Mr Mazepin to talk about that"
Claire Williams has denied that the famous F1 team she leads is in negotiations to be sold.
We reported this week that Dmitry Mazepin, a Russian billionaire who runs the fertiliser company Uralkali, opened talks recently in Shanghai.
Uralkali, having last year tried to buy Force India, denied it.
And now Claire Williams, whose father Sir Frank Williams founded the once-great F1 team, has added her denial to the story.
"I haven’t met Mr Mazepin to talk about that," she said in Baku.
"We had a brief conversation in the mid-part of last year, but subsequent to that there have been no conversations.
"I’d just like to be really categorical about it — Williams is not for sale," Williams said. "I have no intention of putting Williams up for sale."
Claire said it is natural that amid Williams’ current performance crisis, there will be "rumours".
"But when your team isn’t doing well, selling at this juncture wouldn’t be the right time to do so," she insisted. "But Williams has been in this sport for more than four decades and we’ve never wanted to sell."
On Friday, it was another fraught day for Williams. A loose manhole cover destroyed George Russell’s chassis, and on the way back to the pits, the truck carrying the car struck a bridge.
"I’m sure we’ll have a lot more stuff thrown our way, like we’ve had today, like we’ve had this year, like we had last year," said Claire.
"But you don’t give up when times get tough. For me it’s a test of your character that you continue and to prove to everybody that you can do it."
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