LONDON • 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", the British media reported on Wednesday.
Williams, who have yet to confirm that Lowe is joining them, had no comment on the report and the Briton was not immediately available for comment. The BBC quoted one source close to the team as saying that talks were in the final stages while another said the Briton's arrival was a formality.
Autosport.com said contractual negotiations had delayed his arrival but he was tipped to be in place on March 1, with the season-opening Australian race on March 26.
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.
The 54-year-old, who started his F1 career at Williams in 1987, left Mercedes on Jan 10.
Williams founder and principal Frank Williams has a 52.25 per cent stake in the team and co-founder Patrick Head 9 per cent. Of the remaining shares, some 20 per cent are listed on the Entry Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and about 4 per cent are held by an employee trust.
American businessman Brad Hollinger owns 14.75 per cent. It was not clear where Lowe's stake might come from.