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Williams clarifies resignation decision

Mat Coch

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Saturday 5th September, 2020 - 1:57am

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Claire Williams

Claire Williams has clarified that the decision to resign from her role within the Williams Racing operation was hers alone.

On Thursday the team issued a statement announcing that Williams would step down from the position of Deputy Team Principal.

It came following Dorilton Capital’s acquisition of the team on August 21, and preceded a further announcement that the Williams family as a whole with withdraw from the sport following this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Speaking in Monza, Williams revealed the team’s new owners had wanted her to stay on.

“There were a lot of rumours swirling around in Spa about my tenure within the team,” Williams explained.

“Dorilton, I’d like to make it clear, wanted me to stay.

“This was my decision,” she added.

“I felt it was the right choice for me to step away.

“While this is obviously going to be my last race weekend, I am going to be working a few days per week over the course of the next few weeks in order to hand over, in order to talk to Dorilton about the team, the inner workings of the team, and the expertise they need to come in.

“They’re in the business already, they’re doing their due diligence, they’re reviewing the capabilities, and they’re looking at what they can do in order to invest into the business.

“I will be helping them with that, to advise that, over the coming weeks.”

The departure of the Williams family from the paddock has been described as the end of an era.

Sir Frank Williams first entered F1 in the late 1960s before establishing the current operation in 1977 with Patrick Head.

He remains the last representative of a previous era, a peer to the likes of Bernie Ecclestone (Brabham), Max Mosley (March), Colin Chapman (Lotus), Ken Tyrrell (Tyrrell), Guy Ligier (Ligier) and more.

“The world changes, and the world has changed dramatically over the past, even, handful of years that we’ve been racing in Formula 1,” Claire Williams acknowledged.

“I would like to make the point that I think we have received an awful lot of criticism for some of the decisions that we have taken at Williams over the last handful of years.

“But until you actually see what goes on behind the scenes, particularly operating in the environment that we find ourselves operating in at the moment in this sport, that has become ever-harsher, predominantly courtesy of the last Concorde Agreement, I think our team has done an extraordinary job.

“All the people have worked behind the scenes in order to keep our team alive and keep the fight as an independent team.

“I’m very proud of that work. It’s never something I will regret, having made decisions that ensure we have retained that independence over the last few years.”

Over the past 43 years, the team has won seven drivers’ and six constructors’ world championships, and stands as the third winningest team in F1 history (114) behind Ferrari (238) and McLaren (182).

It’s last title came with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997, while Pastor Maldonado chalked up its last race win at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.

Williams currently sits at the foot of the constructors’ championship standings, a position it has occupied for the past two years.

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