It has always been a matter of great pride for Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head that they are in the F1 business first, second and last, with no secondary involvement in a peripheral business to cloud their commitment.

They don’t make road cars like Ferrari, McLaren or Lotus and although there have been intermittent additional programmes such as the Metro 6R4 rally project and BMW’s Le Mans winning sports car over the years, everything is subjugated in their own mind to their core business.

All of which makes the announcement last week that Williams are considering a stock market flotation to help guarantee the company’s financial future even more intriguing. 

Given that an F1 team’s revenue streams comes mainly from two sources – sponsorship and the share of the sport’s commercial rights income provided for under the Concorde agreement – it will be fascinating to see just how many individuals and institutional investors decide that there is sufficient potential for profit in buying shares in Williams F1.

"For some years I have been considering how to secure the long-term ownership of Williams such that it will remain true to the aims with which Patrick and I established the team back in 1977," said Williams.