A metals giant has snapped up F1 offshoot Williams Advanced Engineering as it races to decarbonise by 2030.

Fortescue Future Industries founder and chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said the £164 million deal was crucial to its plans to reach Net Zero.

“This is the race of our lifetimes – the race to save the planet from cooking,” he said. 

“The speed at which we move matters. Together FFI and WAE will work to decarbonise Fortescue – with the aim of achieving that faster and more effectively than anyone else in the world.”

WAE, formed as a branch of the F1 team founded by the revered late Sir Frank Williams, is a world-leading technology and engineering business renowned for its ground-breaking projects in high performance battery systems and electrification.

Fortescue, one of the largest iron ore producers in the world and a heavy carbon emitter, will look to transform its programmes including 3km long freight trains, 400-tonne haul trucks and industrial heavy mobile equipment. 


The heavy industrial sector accounts for more than 20% of global carbon emissions. 

“This announcement is the key to unlocking the formula for removing fossil fuel-powered machinery and replacing it with zero carbon emission technology, powered by FFI green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia,” Dr Forrest continued.

“For decades, Sir Frank Williams’ F1 racing business was at the forefront of innovation in engineering and I thank him for his pioneering vision in founding WAE over a decade ago. 

“I was sorry to hear of his passing last year and I pay tribute to him. I have huge respect for him, his family and the Williams’ business.”

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Former deputy team principal of the Williams F1 Racing Team, Claire Williams OBE, welcomed the announcement.

“Since the team sold a majority shareholding in WAE to EMK Capital a couple of years ago, EMK and the management team have done a fantastic job in taking the business forward,” she said. 

“We are delighted that Fortescue are now taking over that mantle and see the value in the company and its people in tackling some of the biggest issues facing our world today. I am sure that they will continue to drive considerable success through the business and achieve further results in decarbonising heavy industry and tackling the issue of global warming.”