Toto Wolff sells shares in Williams to American businessman

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Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff has sold some of his shares in Williams some eighteen months after leaving the team.

Wolff joined Mercedes at the beginning of the 2013 season, having previously enjoyed a management role at Williams where his wife, Susie, is a test driver. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Austrian was told to sell his shares in the British team.

Some eighteen months later and over a full season into his new role at Mercedes, Wolff has finally found a buyer in the form of American healthcare magnate Brad Hollinger.

Speaking to veteran F1 journalist Adam Cooper, Wolff was pleased to have sold 5% of his shares to Hollinger and is confident that he is someone who can aid Williams.

“He’s a serious entrepreneur,” Wolff explained. “He owns historic cars and he has an understanding for the business, and he decided to take a similar role like I did in 2009, start with a financial investment and then see how it pans out.

“He has 5% and he has an option to acquire more from me, but has no plans at the moment beyond that.”

NBCSN’s Will Buxton spoke with Hollinger in the Austrian Grand Prix paddock today, and said that the CEO of The Hollinger Group seemed enthusiastic about his new investment.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.