Williams: Sir Frank and Claire step down from running Formula One team

3 September 2020, 13:34 | Updated: 3 September 2020, 13:39

Sir Frank Williams and Claire Williams at the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone
Sir Frank Williams and Claire Williams at the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone. Picture: Getty

By Megan White

The Williams family are stepping down from the Formula One team Sir Frank founded more than 40 years ago after it was sold to a US investment firm.

One of the sport’s most successful teams, winners of 16 drivers’ and constructors’ championships, will no longer be family run.

Williams Racing was founded by Sir Frank in 1977, enjoying great success in the 1980s and 1990s but have won just one race in the last 16 years.

Iconic names in the sport including Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill drove for the team in their heyday.

The team was sold last month to US investment firm Dorilton Capital.

Claire Williams, who has acted as the de facto boss of the British team since 2013, revealed she will be departing her role as deputy team principal.

The Williams name will leave the sport following this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. The identity of the team's replacements are yet to be confirmed.

Claire Williams said: "With the future of the team now secured, this feels like the appropriate time for us to step away from the sport.

"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.

"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."

The team finished bottom of the constructors' championship for the past two seasons, and are without a point in 2020.

Williams' British driver George Russell during the second practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit
Williams' British driver George Russell during the second practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Picture: Getty

Claire Williams added: "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."

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