Former Mercedes Formula One technical head Paddy Lowe is set to become a shareholder in the Williams team when he joins after a period of ‘gardening leave’, British media are reporting.
Williams, who have yet to confirm that Lowe is joining them, had no comment on the report and the Briton was not immediately available.
The BBC quoted one source close to the team as saying talks were in the final stages while another said the Briton’s arrival was a formality.
Reports suggest that contractual negotiations had delayed Lowe’s arrival but he was tipped to be in place on 1 March, with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix scheduled for 26 March.
It also said that Lowe, who helped Mercedes to three successive drivers’ and constructors’ championships, was understood to have bought a stake in the team.
Lowe, who started his Formula One career at Williams in 1987, left Mercedes on 10 January.
Williams founder and principal Frank Williams has a 52.25 percent stake in the team and co-founder Patrick Head nine percent.
Of the remaining shares, some 20 percent are listed on the Entry Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and about four percent are held by an employee trust, while U.S. businessman Brad Hollinger holds a 14.75 percent stake.
It was not clear at this stage where Lowe’s stake might come from.
Meanwhile Head told BBC Sport that he “couldn’t comment” on any specifics to do with Lowe’s position at Williams.
“Discussions are still ongoing and until a signature is on a bit of paper nothing’s a formality, but it would be good for Williams if they can get him,” added Head, who stepped down from his day-to-day involvement in the management of the team in 2011.