Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says she decided to leave her role in order to give new owners Dorilton Capital a fresh start.
Dorilton is a U.S.-based investment company that took over Williams at the end of last month, bringing to an end the team’s history as a family-owned constructors. Although Dorilton encouraged the family members to remain with the team to help guide it in future, Claire Williams (pictured above) says her decision to leave is based on wanting to give the new ownership the chance to structure the team in its own way.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am stepping away from my role with the team,” Williams said. “I had hoped to continue my tenure long into the future and to preserve the Williams family’s legacy into the next generation. However, our need to find inward investment earlier this year due to a number of factors, many of which were outside of our control, resulted in the sale of the team to Dorilton Capital.
“My family has always put our racing team and our people first and this was absolutely the right decision. I know in them we have found the right people to take Williams back to the front of the grid while also preserving the Williams legacy.
“I have taken the decision to step away from the team in order to allow Dorilton a fresh start as the new owners. It has not been an easy decision but it’s one I believe to be right for all involved. I have been enormously privileged to have grown up in this team and in the wonderful world that is Formula 1. I have loved every minute and will be forever grateful for the opportunities it has given me. But it’s also an incredibly challenging sport and I now want to see what else the world holds for me. Most importantly, I want to spend time with my family.
“I would like to thank Dorilton for their support and for understanding my decision. I would also like to thank our fans who have stuck by us through thick and thin. Our people at Williams have always been family, they have kept me motivated during the difficult times and it is them who I will miss the most. It is my genuine hope that the process we’ve gone through brings them the success they deserve. And finally, I would like to thank my Dad for everything he has given to the team, the sport and our family.”
Williams driver George Russell immediately reacted to the news, thanking both Claire and Sir Frank for putting their faith in him as a rookie.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Frank and Claire, they gave me my shot in F1, like they have done for so many drivers, engineers, mechanics and countless others over the years,” Russell said. “Thank you for everything. We’ll keep driving like hell to honor the Williams name.”