Dmitry Mazepin, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Mazepin not in talks to buy Williams, says company

2019 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Dmitry Mazepin, the primary shareholder in Russian chemical conglomerate Uralkali, has not held talks with representatives with a view to acquiring Williams, a company spokesperson told RaceFans.

Reports stated that Mazepin, who controls 20 per cent of Uralkali and was one of the bidders for Force India after the team plunged into administration last year, held talks with Williams representatives in Shanghai during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

The reports also claimed Mazepin’s son, F2 driver Nikita, could be in line for a seat with the team in the event that a purchase is completed.

“The information that appeared in the media is untrue,” the spokesperson said. “Uralkali did not hold any negotiations regarding the purchase of the Williams team.”

There are historic links between the Mazepins and Williams: Nikita previously completed a simulator programme with the team before switching to Force India for 2016-18 as test driver. He is currently contesting the F2 series with the championship-winning ART team.

Mazepin senior’s attempted takeover of Force India failed after administrator FRP Advisory switched the sale to an asset-based transaction. A consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll acquired the assets of the team, which was renamed Racing Point.

Mazepin and Uralkali contend that the switch from going-concern to asset-based was irregular, and commenced legal proceedings for damages against FRP Advisory. The process is ongoing.

Williams, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, reported a £5m profit before interest, tax and amortisation for 2018 despite placing last in the championship, but is expected to face commercial challenges this year as Formula 1 revenues are based on the previous year’s performances.

After three races Williams again occupies tenth in the rankings with zero points scored, with drivers Robert Kubica and George Russell reporting ongoing aerodynamic deficiencies. Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe has been on “leave of absence” since the opening round of the season.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

28 comments on “Mazepin not in talks to buy Williams, says company”

  1. Part of me likes the idea of people who look like Bond Villains getting involved.

    I can see a future where drivers are chosen in private.
    “So Mr Hamilton – you passed my wind test – but let us see how you handle my unpredictable downforce.

    F1 TV could make a fortune :)

    1. “Luke, I am your team boss”

    2. – Do you expect me to talk?
      – No Mr. Hamilton, I expect you to DRIVE! Mwahahaha!!!

      1. @nullapax @socksolid @zimkazimka – not sure about comment of the day – but definitely thread of the day folks :)

    3. -The names Vettel, Seb Vettel
      -How do you like your team-mate dynamic, Mr Vettel?
      -Shaken, not stirred.

  2. if they denied it is probably true. although if there is something that I respect about Claire Williams, is that she will give her life to save the team and move forward under its current status.

    in the eventuality of Williams actually being bought and disappear as we all know, it will be one of the saddest days in recent f1’s history

    1. Her team is at the lowest status of all time and she wont give anything to keep it from sinkin further.

      1. Why are you so sour about Claire Williams?

        …. who hurt you? Was it a woman team boss?

        Can we all stop pretending that we know formula 1 team bosses like family? Nobody believes you have some kind of insider knowledge…. and you just come across as miserable. This coming from a fellow miserable person, so I know all too well your tactics…

        1. BlackJackFan
          19th April 2019, 11:27

          I don’t know much about misery but I do get irritated by people who post opinions as facts as if they are close friends of the sport’s main protagonists.

        2. @cm-cm
          Yes ofc a woman team boss hurt me.

        3. steveetienne
          20th April 2019, 9:38

          I see you are using the classic tired trope of ‘muh – you don’t like her because she is a woman’ – the previous poster never said anything about her gender whatsoever, i think you owe him an apology, the stark facts are painly obvious for all to see – Williams are at their lowest ebb in their entire history with Claire at the helm and her gender has nothing to do with it.

          1. I wonder where all the “did a male team boss hurt you?” comments are when im criticizing Toto…

          2. steveetienne, you say that Williams are at the lowest ebb of their history, but back in 2011 they arguably did even worse than in 2018 – they scored only 5 points in 2011 and finished even further adrift of the rest of the field than they did in 2018.

            They were similarly off the pace in 2013, when again they only scored 5 points – the only saving grace was that the new team that entered were even less successful than they were: if Marussia or Caterham had been able to run a Haas-like model, Williams would have been solidly nailed to the back of the field. Let’s be realistic – Williams were in a terrible state at the start of this decade, and really their current form is more of a relapse into the position they were in back then.

            You could also point out that this was the second car in a row that had Lowe’s influence exerted on it that was proven to be fundamentally flawed in terms of execution.

            There are also rumours that seemed to point quite a few fingers towards Lowe for the current production problems within the team, such as allegations of Lowe firing most of the senior management in Williams’s production centre and forcing through changes to the way that people worked there that resulted in people protesting by “working to time” – i.e. refusing to do overtime when being asked to do it to make up for the disruption caused by the messy way in which Lowe was trying to reorganise the team.

            It is easy to lump blame onto Claire as the most prominent figure within the team, though to be honest it looks more like inheriting a series of problems that have been building up within the team for the best part of 10-15 years, and that it is probably over simplistic to pin things down to just one individual.

            However, if you were to ask me which individual probably shares a larger portion of the blame, I would say that, on balance, Paddy Lowe seems to be the one who has more questions to answer. Lowe was the one who was given the mandate to reorganise the team as he saw fit, and it feels as if it has been his attempts to reorganise the team that have only made things worse.

          3. @anon
            I dont think anyone here is trying to put all blame on one person. I have serious doubts Claire is the one holding it together however.

          4. Mostly because it isnt holding together at all, its a steadily sinking ship.

          5. @steveetienne
            I call a spade a spade, even if i refer to them as shovels…

            If you guys are framiliar with US politics, this Claire witch hunt is no differant than the people who hated Obama for no discerneable reason. You can claim this or that, but it’s obvious people have a deep seated hatred. When people talk about Toto Wolfe there is exactly zero hatred, and that’s obvious.

            You can run from the truth, but there’s a reason why you people are hating on Claire, and it’s very similarly hid under a facade as it was with Obama. They hated Obama cause he was black, and you guys hate Claire because she’s a woman, at least partially. So save the bs.

          6. @cm-cm
            As i recall your imaginary witch hunts didnt do so well in the states either so why do you litter with it here?

          7. steveetienne
            22nd April 2019, 14:26

            Actually CM I think people disliked Obama for various reasons – not least because he authorised the dropping more bombs on foreign nations than any other president in the history of the united states and almost doubled the national debt in 8 years whilst dividing the electorate with toxic identity politics AND got caught funding ISIS.

    2. I think there’s two things she is betting on: 1) That staff and budget caps will happen; and 2) The Listed Parts will change in a direction that favours Williams. I think Williams need to have a Plan B, as in buying more off the shelf products vs building their own.

      1. I do hope that that isn’t Williams’ line of thinking.

        That staff and budget caps will happen

        In the midfield, apart from McLaren, I think every other team is pretty much in the ballpark of (or even below) the budget caps proposed. So there’s no gain to be had once that is enforced, simply because it will affect the big 3 and McLaren more, and the beneficiaries are likely to be those heading the midfield, not Williams at the tail.

        The Listed Parts will change in a direction that favours Williams

        This is likely a possibility, if teams are expected to build more of their items in house. Then again, Williams have shown that just doing in-house work doesn’t inherently give them an advantage, so I don’t see an automatic gain. Maybe Haas may be one team affected the greatest by such a change, but other teams like TR, RP, all have good experience building big chunks of their car already, today, and they have the expertise to scale up.

        Further, there are noises being made around making certain parts more standardized, or more commonly available to all teams (in a fair and open way), so again, there isn’t going to be an inherent advantage for Williams there.

        There is one thing which can work in Williams favour in a small manner, and that is the equitable revenue distribution. There again, the difference between the old and new revenue sharing arrangement for the 10th placed team isn’t going to be that dramatic that it will help Williams turn their fortunes around.

        I don’t see Williams as having money problems as their #1 woe today, it seems to be more and more a capability issue first and foremost.

        1. Yeah. This is like free trade agreements. Williams won’t rise to the top, it’s hoping the top sinks to Williams level.

      2. I don’t think the listed parts list is going to change very radically very quickly. Lots of teams are already using lots of parts made by other teams (haas, racing point, sauber, toro rosso) so there is going to be lots of opposition to any changes to it. Not to mention ferrari, mercedes and red bull like the idea of selling parts. And they gain political power from it too.

        Even if fia decided to make the list just cover power unit and gearboxes (and tires plus some other things) fia would need to do that in such way that the teams could survive the cost increase associated to having to design and build those things themselves. This means giving the teams enough time to create those departments that could create the those parts for those teams. Which means there is going to be transitional period of some sort if any change happens. Which I think is unlikely considering how almost everybody is already doing it with the exception of mclaren, renault and williams really.

  3. Derek Edwards
    19th April 2019, 1:25

    I love reading between the lines in these things. When people say “I never met x” it means instead that they spoke to them on the phone, so when the spokesperson says that “Uralkali did not hold any negotiations regarding the purchase of the Williams team” I understand that the discussions were instead about something different, maybe a majority shareholding.

    1. Saying no discussions with Uralkali means that they instead talked directly to Mazepin. ;)

    2. BlackJackFan
      19th April 2019, 11:31

      Agreed – the entire declaiming speech seems riddled with half truths and untruths… lol

  4. I read that there are more potential buyers for Williams. One of them seems to be the Chinese car manufacturer Geely (owner of Lotus and Volvo).

  5. Too many billionaires with spoiled kids in motorsport at the moment.
    Also too many people with billions lying around spare to throw at hobbies or burned churches … especially while so many are struggling.
    Yellow vest protesters have a point …

    1. Its time for a new red revolution

Comments are closed.