The following statement has been issued by Sir Frank Williams after it was confirmed the Grove-based outfit is contemplating a flotation on the stock market as a way of securing its long term future.
'For some years I have been considering how to secure the long-term ownership of Williams such that it will remain true to the aims with which Patrick [Head] and I established the team back in 1977.
'My goal then was to race in Formula One as an independent Constructor. This was and is my great passion and I will race for as long as I continue to be blessed with good health. It is also my desire that the team is in good shape to go on racing long after I am gone. To that end, it is prudent and necessary to plan for an ownership structure that will enable Williams to be an independent Constructor, owned and staffed by people committed to Formula One and to the sound business practices which have supported us over three decades.
'I have concluded that the option which will best achieve this is to broaden our shareholder base with public shareholders, while having a stable core of long-term investors closely involved in the running of the team. This will ensure stability, good governance and will, I believe, enable us to attract and retain the best people and partners.
'Patrick, Toto [Wolff] and I are therefore examining this option closely and, if the environment is propitious, we may act in the near future. Regardless of whatever steps we take, I shall remain the majority and controlling shareholder and the Team Principal of AT&T Williams.'