ART Grand Prix has announced that it has bought the shares of co-founder and shareholder Nicolas Todt as he parts away from the team.

The French outfit was formed in 1991 with current Sauber F1 team principal Frederic Vassuer and Todt in partnership, with the former in charge of operating the outfit while the latter devoted his time in commercial activities.

In the last few years, Vassuer’s larger role in F1 has limited his time with ART as Sebastien Philippe has taken over the managerial role and runs the team’s operations in the various championships it competes in.

Todt continued his activities with ART as well as his own work but speculations were on that the Frenchman could sell off his shares and move away from the team which has now been confirmed as ART has bought his shares.

“I founded ART Grand Prix with Nicolas at a time when pooling our individual areas of expertise could benefit all parties involved,” said Vassuer. “There has certainly been synergy since its birth in 2004, with ART Grand Prix achieving most of the goals it had set and Nicolas playing a large part in the overall success of the company.

“Without him, this development would not have been possible. Today the evolution of ART Grand Prix, mine and that of Nicolas, naturally led us to take different paths in a win-win strategy that will allow everyone to continue their career in the best conditions.

“I thank Nicolas for these years of collaboration which have been extremely rich in results and wish him the best for 2019 and the years to come.” The team has come a long way in all these years, winning 18 teams’ championships in various series.

It has also clinched 18 drivers’ titles, helping as many as 14 drivers to live their dream. “I am very proud to have contributed to the creation and development of this team, which has always enjoyed great success,” said Todt.

“Its corporate culture, which focuses on young people and allows them to flourish, is a trademark of ART Grand Prix and to its credit. ART Grand Prix has allowed the emergence of young talents at all levels of the company: mechanics, engineers and of course drivers who are the visible part of this iceberg and some of whom have subsequently made their mark in the history of F1.

“My experience at ART Grand Prix has been rich in lessons as well as a catalyst for my activities in motorsport. I wish ART Grand Prix and all those who are associated with it to continue on the same path of excellence and to fight at the forefront in the various championships in which they will participate.”