Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin is reportedly in talks with Williams over a potential takeover of the floundering Formula One team, according to Motorsport.com’s Italian operation.
Mazepin, who owns fertiliser producer Uralchem and is the father of Formula Two driver Nikita, apparently approached the UK-based outfit about a month ago, and held initial talks with the team during the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend.
According to Motorsport.com’s report, it was initially thought that the Belarus-born businessman was interested in furthering his son’s racing career through potential involvement with Williams, but it later emerged that the talks were instead focused on Mazepin acquiring a controlling stake in the team.
Mazepin, whose interest in buying Williams has also been confirmed by Russian news agency Tass, last year failed in his attempts to purchase Force India, who eventually did a deal with a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, the father of Formula One driver Lance.
After missing out on a takeover of Force India, Mazepin launched legal proceedings against the administrators of the team, labelling the sales process as “flawed”.
Williams are in the midst of a performance crisis and are the only team yet to register a single point in 2019 after finishing last in Formula One’s constructor’s championship last season. The dip in form contributed to the departure earlier this year of technical director Paddy Lowe, while team principal Claire Williams has faced questions about her ability to put the team back on track.
Team driver George Russell has already admitted that Williams have found a “fundamental” problem with this year’s car, and fresh investment could be seen as a route towards reversing some of the engineering and design efficiencies that have hindered the once successful team in recent seasons.
Williams will be hoping to register its first point of the season at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 28th April.