Schumacher: Time for the Williams family to step down
Former Williams driver Ralf Schumacher has suggested it is time for Frank and Claire Williams to finally leave the team should an appropriate investor be found.
In the wake of recently announced heavy financial losses, Williams confirmed that as part of a strategic review, it would consider potentially selling the team to the right person.
Schumacher, who spent six seasons with Williams from 1999-2004, has delivered a damning verdict on an organisation he still rates highly as 'a great racing team', but has claimed that "there are a lot of things wrong with the management style".
Speaking to Speedweek, the 44-year-old who competed in 180 grands prix during his 11-year F1 career, said: "It looks like neither Frank Williams nor his daughter was able to lead the team in a modern way.
“Years ago the path should have been cleared for young management personnel. I have experienced this myself. Times have changed. The Frank Williams system always consisted of exerting a lot of pressure from above.
"We now have a lot of young people working in Formula 1 with a degree, but some of them are in the sport all too briefly because they cannot be treated like that."
Schumacher feels there is now a chance for change within the team, “but only if Frank and Claire withdraw completely and a good investor comes on board".
"If I had the right partners and the money, I would be involved immediately. At Williams, however, it needs a proper dusting down."
The frontrunners for a potential takeover, or providing substantial investment, are billionaire entrepreneurs Dmitry Mazepin and Michael Latifi, whose son Nicolas is due to make his F1 debut with Williams when the season finally starts in early July.
Russian Mazepin, whose son Nikita drives in F2, previously attempted to purchase Force India but was beaten to the punch by Lawrence Stroll.
Assessing the situation, Schumacher said: "Mazepin is in the starting blocks and is wealthier than Latifi and Stroll. So far he has bought teams for his son, from Formula 3 upwards."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.