Austrians gaining power at Williams

There are changes afoot at the top of the Williams team. Chairman Adam Parr, recently seen by founder and principal Sir Frank Williams as his natural successor, stepped down late last month.

The shock move followed Bernie Ecclestone having said in February: “I think people like Toto Wolff should get more control (at Williams).”

Wolff, a young Austrian businessman and former racer who has a 15 per cent team shareholding, appears indeed to be having a greater influence at the famous British team in 2012. He manages Valterri Bottas who is now Williams’ reserve and Friday driver, and his wife Susie Wolff (nee Stoddart) is a development driver.

“With the departure of Adam Parr, the overall structure is rearranged,” Wolff, 40, is quoted by APA news agency. “In this context it may be that my role is growing.”

But he denied that he is eyeing the top job. Instead, he is championing the credentials of his countryman and former team driver Alex Wurz, who has been taken on for 2012 as a driver mentor.

“He is a fantastic man; a good driver, well connected and sees the big picture. He (Wurz) still has a long F1 career,” said Wolff.

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