Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he is asking around to find potential buyers for the Williams F1 team, saying it would be a ‘big loss’ for the sport to lose the historic team.

Last week Williams shocked the paddock by confirming it will invite bids to take the team over as one of several options it is considering in order to assure the future of the beleaguered squad.

One of F1’s most historic and successful outfits, Williams’ last resort plan comes after two disappointing seasons that left it rooted to the bottom of the constructors’ standings.

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The team itself insists the timing of the announcement is no coincidence, saying the upcoming change in regulations should be seen as an opportunity for a potential investor to turn things around.

Now it appears to have Ecclestone fighting in its corner, with the 89-year old revealing he is doing his bit to find buyers on its behalf.

"I'm trying to find people who could be involved," he told AFP: "Having a team is an expensive hobby."

“It would be the end of an era, but I hope that someone can be found who can lead the team properly. Because it would be terrible to lose such a team. It is not a good thing, it is a historic team.”

Without naming names, Ecclestone says part of Williams’ problem is that it doesn’t have the same clout behind the scenes without founder Frank Williams being directly involved anymore.

“Poor old Frank worked so hard that his team could be there. And it is not a good thing that it could disappear now.

"Unfortunately, the current management does not have the same status as Frank. He could handle things."