Have you always wanted to go into business with a socialist dictator from South America? Do you have a passion for Formula One? Good news, mi amigo: you may soon be able to invest in the same F1 team as Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. The Williams F1 team is currently considering a public offering of stock to ensure the team’s long term existence. Frank Williams has concluded that taking the team public is the best way to ensure long term stability, good governance and ongoing sponsor relationships. What remains to be answered is the question of timing, since launching a Williams F1 IPO in a depressed economy won’t yield the results (i.e., money) that Williams is looking for.
I told you last week about Chavez’s investment into Williams F1, via the state run oil company, PDVSA. Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan driver who captured the GP2 championship in 2010, has been brought in as Rubens Barichello’s teammate for the 2011 season. Maldonado is a close associate of Chavez and is a “politically outspoken socialist” according to media reports. That should make for some interesting team dynamics, not to mention some spirited team meetings. This much is sure: the 2011 F1 season won’t be dull.