Williams family to leave F1 after Italian Grand Prix

Charles Coates/Motorsport Images

Williams family to leave F1 after Italian Grand Prix

Formula 1

Williams family to leave F1 after Italian Grand Prix

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The Italian Grand Prix will be the final race in Formula 1 for the Williams family, with Sir Frank and Claire leaving their roles following the team’s ownership change.

Sir Frank Williams has remained team principal throughout personal health challenges, while his daughter Claire dealt with the day-to-day running as deputy team principal, continuing the Williams family ownership and operation of the team since 1977. However, after 43 years and 739 races, the Williams family will leave F1 after this weekend’s race at Monza following the takeover by U.S.-based investment firm Dorilton Capital last month.

“With the future of the team now secured, this feels like the appropriate time for us to step away from the sport,” Claire Williams said. “As a family, we have always prioritized Williams. We have demonstrated that by our recent actions with the Strategic Review process and we believe now is the right time to hand over the reins and give the new owners the opportunity to take the team into the future.

“We have been in this sport for more than four decades. We are incredibly proud of our track record and the legacy we leave behind. We have always been in it for the love of it, for the pure pleasure of going motor racing, so this is not a decision that we have taken lightly but after much reflection and as a family.

“We are greatly appreciative of Dorilton’s encouragement to continue, but in them we know the team will be in good hands and the Williams name will live on. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family-run team, but it is the beginning of a new era for Williams Racing and we wish them much success in the future.

Sir Frank Williams (center) and partner Patrick Head (in green) directed Williams to 7 F1 Drivers’ and 9 Constructors’ championships, starting with Alan Jones and the FW07B-Cosworth in 1980. Motorsport Images

“On behalf of Frank and the Williams family, I would like to say how incredibly grateful and humbled we are for the support we have enjoyed over the years, from our friends in the paddock to the many fans around the world. But mostly, we would like to thank our team. People who have worked at Williams in the past and present. They are the true warriors of this team and have made it what it is and we wish them well. Formula 1 has been our life for so long and now it’s time for a new chapter in our lives to begin.”

Dorilton and now Williams chairman Matthew Savage says Claire’s recent impact on the team should not be underestimated, both in terms of its direct achievements and the wider shape of F1 moving forward.

“We fully respect the very tough decision of Claire and the Williams family to step away from the team and the business after securing new resources for its future,” Savage said. “Claire’s achievement in sustaining Williams Racing’s heritage, relevance and commitment to innovation in a difficult environment since taking charge in 2013 has been nothing short of monumental.

“She has also been hugely instrumental in shaping a more level technical and financial playing field for F1, which will help to ensure the team’s return to the front of the grid in seasons to come. We are proud to carry the Williams name into the next exciting phase for the sport and we thank Sir Frank, Claire and the Williams family for the opportunity to be part of this great British brand.”

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