Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has played down rumours that ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was behind its recent takeover.

Last Friday, Williams announced Dorilton Capital - a U.S. investment firm - had bought the company in a move that secures the team’s future in the sport long-term.

Williams will continue to race under the same name and it will remain based in Grove, Oxfordshire.

The rumours of Ecclestone’s involvement surfaced because the filings released as a result of the takeover revealed the team had been sold to a company called BCE Limited - BCE coincidentally matching Ecclestone’s own initials.

Speaking in Friday’s team principal press conference in Belgium, Williams said: "I spoke to Mr. Ecclestone earlier in the week, and I did ask if it was him behind it. 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."

Williams refused to comment on the identity of the new owners.

"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 added. "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."

With regards to her own future and her father’s - Frank Williams - she said it was "very early days" but "business as usual" as the team looks to build on a promising start to 2020 at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. 

"For the moment though, this is business as usual. 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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