Formula 1

Claire Williams on her F1 Departure: “I felt it was the right choice for me to step away”

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Credit: Williams Racing

Claire Williams has revealed that Williams Racing’s new owners, Dorilton Capital, wanted her to remain a part of the Formula 1 team, but ultimately it was her that made the decision to step away.

Williams will have her final weekend as the Deputy Team Principal at the team this weekend before she and her father, Sir Frank Williams, step away from the limelight.  She assumed her role as Deputy Team Principal back in 2013.

Speaking at the FIA’s press conference at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Williams revealed that a request was made by Dorilton Capital for her to remain a part of the set-up going forward, and aside from playing an advisory role during the changeover period between ownerships.

“There were a lot of rumours swirling around in Spa about my tenure within the team,” said Williams on Friday.  “Dorilton, I’d like to make it clear, wanted me to stay. This was my decision. I felt it was the right choice for me to step away.

There will be a period of transition. This is obviously going to be my last race weekend, but I am going to be working a few days per week over the course of the next few weeks in order to hand over in order to talk to Dorilton about the team, the inner workings of the team, and the expertise they need to come in.

“They’re in the business already, they’re doing their due diligence, they’re reviewing the capabilities, and they’re looking at what they can do in order to invest into the business.

“I will be helping them with that to advise that over the coming weeks.”

“I think our team has done an extraordinary job”

Williams said the current climate in Formula 1 has made it difficult for” an independent team to be successful, and it became apparent that investment was needed for their fortunes to turnaround.

She has hit out at those who have criticised her team for some of the decisions they’ve made in recent years, feeling they have not seen the full picture, and she has praised the team for doing ‘an extraordinary job’ on limited resources.

“The world changes, and the world has changed dramatically over the past even handful of years that we’ve been racing in Formula 1,” said Williams.  “I would like to make the point that I think we have received an awful lot of criticism for some of the decisions that we have taken at Williams over the last handful of years.

“But until you actually see what goes on behind the scenes in Formula 1 teams, particularly operating in the environment that we find ourselves operating in at the moment in this sport, that has become ever-harsher, predominantly courtesy of the last Concorde Agreement, I think our team has done an extraordinary job.

“All the people have worked behind the scenes in order to keep our team alive and keep the fight as an independent team. I’m very proud of that work.  It’s never something I will regret, having made decisions that ensure we have retained that independence over the last few years.”

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