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.

Danica says goodbye: ‘Definitely not a great ending’ but ‘I’m for sure grateful’

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INDIANAPOLIS – Danica Patrick’s final racing news conference didn’t go quite as planned, but at least she didn’t lose her sense of humor about it.

“Is that like the Oscars when they close the show out?” Patrick joked when her opening address was drowned out by the midrace broadcast of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 in the media center. “Take my mic away. I’ll leave. I promise. I don’t really want to be here because I’m pretty sad, but all right. I guess I’ll stop there.”

That was about as lighthearted as it got, though, for the most accomplished female driver in racing history after the final start of her career. That naturally made for some reflection, too.

“I will say that I’m for sure very grateful for everybody,” she said. “It still was a lot of great moments this month. A lot of great moments this year.”

Patrick was the first woman to lead both the Indianapolis 500 (in her 2005 debut) and the Daytona 500 (in 2013 when she also was the first female to qualify on pole position in NACAR history).

But she couldn’t bookend that with similarly memorable finishes. After crashing out of her final two Cup races in the November 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the 2018 Daytona 500, Indy concluded the same way.

“Definitely not a great ending,” she said. “But I kind of said before I came here that it could be a complete disaster, as in not in the ballpark at all. And look silly, then people may remember that. And if I win, people will remember that.

“Probably anything in between might just be a little part of the big story. So I kind of feel like that’s how it is. I’m appreciative for all the fans, for GoDaddy, for Ed Carpenter Racing, for IndyCar. Today was a tough day. A little bit of it was OK. A lot of it was just a typical drive.”

Beforehand, Patrick seemed relaxed while smiling and laughing outside her car with a tight circle of close friends and family that included her parents and boyfriend Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

“For sure, I was definitely nervous,” she said about her first Indy 500 start in seven years. “I found myself most of the time on the grid being confused what part of prerace we were in. I was like, ‘I remember this,’ and ‘Where are the Taps?’ and ‘When is the anthem?’ but I had all my people around me, so I was in good spirits.”

And with that, she bid adieu.

“Thank you guys,” she said. “Thank you for everything. I’ll miss you. Most of the time. Maybe you’ll miss me just a little. Thanks, guys.”