A chapter in F1 history will close this weekend, after Williams Racing Deputy Director Claire Williams announced that the Italian GP will be the last at the helm of the team.
After Williams was acquired by Dorilton Capital a few weeks ago, thus guaranteeing the continuity of the team in F1, Claire has decided to step aside so that this American company places its new directors in command, which are already confirmed. Heading the Williams Grand Prix Engineering will be Matthew Savage, who is also Chairman of Dorilton Capital.
Under the leadership of Sir Frank Williams, the team competed for 43 years and participated in 739 Grands Prix, with its debut at the Spanish GP at Jarama on May 8, 1977. In their golden age they won 114 races, achieved 128 pole positions and recorded 133 fastest laps. The biggest conquests were nine constructors ‘championships and seven drivers’ championships.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said: “It is with great regret that I am stepping away from my role on the team. I was hopeful to continue my tenure long into the future and preserve the legacy of the Williams family for the next generation. However, our need to find internal investments earlier this year due to a number of factors, many of which were beyond our control, resulted in the sale of the equipment to Dorilton Capital. My family has always placed our team in races and our people first and this was absolutely the right decision, I know that in them we have found the right people to bring the team to the front of the grid while preserving the Williams legacy.
I have made the decision to step away from the team to allow Dorilton a fresh start as the new owners. It was not an easy decision, but I think it is the right one for everyone involved. I have had an enormous privilege to have grown up in this team and in the wonderful world that is Formula 1. I have loved every minute and will always be grateful for the opportunities it has given me. But it’s also an incredibly challenging sport and now I want to see what else the world has in store for me. The most important thing is that I want to spend time with my family.
I would like to thank Dorilton for his support and for understanding my decision. I’d also like to thank our fans who supported us through thick and thin. Our people at Williams have always been family, they have kept me motivated through tough times and they are the ones I will miss the most. I sincerely hope that the process we have been through will bring you the success you deserve. And finally, I would like to thank my dad for all that he has given to the team, to the sport and to our family, “stated Sir Frank Williams’ daughter.
In this way, the last family that owned a top-class team leaves F1.