The Williams family is to end its involvement in Formula 1 after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, with Claire Williams stepping down from her role as deputy team principal in the process.

Williams, who was appointed in the position to take over the day-to-day running of the team in place of her father Sir Frank in 2013, will leave at the end of this weekend’s race at Monza following the team’s buyout by US private investment firm Dorilton Capital.

During her time at Williams, she led the team to back-to-back third place finishes in the constructors’ championship in 2014 and 2015 before the British squad slipped down the pecking order.

Williams endured its worst-ever season in F1 by finishing last in the constructors’ standings after a woeful campaign in 2019, and currently occupies 10th in the championship despite improved performance this year.

“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,” Williams added.

“It has not been an easy decision but it’s one I believe to be right for all involved.”

Not only is Claire stepping down, but the entire Williams family is set to leave the sport after Monza following the ownership change to Dorilton Capital.

The move will end a 43-year spell in F1 in which they won 16 titles and 114 grands prix.

A statement from Williams said: “The recent conclusion of the Strategic Review process and consequent sale of Williams Grand Prix Engineering to US-based investment firm, Dorilton Capital ensures the long-term future of the Williams Formula 1 team and provides a timely point at which the Williams family have chosen to exit the sport.”

“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,” Williams added. “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.

“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 One has been our life for so long and now it’s time for a new chapter in our lives to begin.”

Matthew Savage, chairman of Dorilton Capital and Williams Grand Prix Engineering, said: “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.

“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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