A report from Italy contends that Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Mazepin held talks in China with Williams over acquiring a controlling stake in the British outfit.
According to the Italian edition of Motorsport.com, Mazepin - who is the chairman of mineral fertilizer giant Uralchem and also the father of F2 racer Nikita Mazepin - approached Williams about a month ago.
While it was believed at the time that the Belarus-born billionaire was perhaps interested in furthering his son's career thanks to a potential involvement with Williams, the Motorsport.com report claims that talks actually centered around Mazepin taking over the beleaguered outfit.
Last summer, the Russian had already put himself on the ranks to buy Force India. And when the deal was sealed with Lawrence Stroll's investment consortium to take over the team's assets, Mazepin initiated legal proceedings against the administrators of the Force India team, claiming the outfit's sale process was "flawed".
Williams has suffered a painful drop in performance since 2017, the Grove-based outfit's drivers consistently racing at the tail end of the grid.
Engineering and design deficiencies set back the team last season and its been even worse this year with an FW42 chassis that first suffered from a production delay before a fundamental design flaw came to light.
The team's painful state of affairs led to the departure earlier this year of technical director Paddy Lowe and to questions surrounding deputy team principal Claire Williams' ability to lead the British squad out of its enduring slump.
For all the team's under-performance on the race track in the past few years, parent company Williams Grand Prix Holdings recently disclosed surprisingly healthy financial results for 2018.
The company's positive balance sheet, coupled with the Williams family's unwillingness to throw in the towel, would appear to make a takeover an unlikely proposition, regardless of the identity of a potential suitor.
A former Force India development driver, Nikita Mazepin will dovetail this year his F2 schedule with ART with a private F1 testing programme set up in a association with Mercedes.
Taking a leaf out of Lance Stroll's book of how to become an F1 driver, Mazepin will accumulate mileage at various venues onboard a 2017 Mercedes W08.
Will Dmitry Mazepin follow fellow billionaire Lawrence Stroll's lead and acquire his own F1 team to fast-track his son's career?
Perhaps a few curious minds at Williams would like to know...