Williams Formula One team bought by US private equity firm

The Formula One team founded by racing legend Sir Frank Williams has been bought by a US private equity firm. 

Williams Grand Prix Engineering, which has been struggling with a run of poor performance on the race circuit, announced Dorilton Capital was buying it for £136m. 

Williams was the last independent team in Formula One, and during its heyday won nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ championships. 

End of an era: Williams was the last independent team in Formula One, and during its heyday won nine constructors' titles and seven drivers' championships

End of an era: Williams was the last independent team in Formula One, and during its heyday won nine constructors' titles and seven drivers' championships

End of an era: Williams was the last independent team in Formula One, and during its heyday won nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ championships

But more recently it had struggled to compete with deep-pocketed rivals such as Mercedes and Ferrari. 

It put itself up for sale in May, in an attempt to find a buyer which could help fund the team and ensure its survival, and said that it would remain at its base at Grove in Oxfordshire following the deal. 

Sir Frank, 78, was an inexperienced but ambitious upstart when he co-founded Williams in 1977. 

After a car accident left him paralysed in 1986, he refused to relinquish control of the company. He remains Williams’ team principal, though his daughter Claire Williams is now heavily involved in running the team as his deputy 

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