End of an era in F1: Williams family depart the Williams Racing team
After 43 years in the sport the Italian GP will mark the final race for Claire and Frank
A new chapter will begin for the Williams Racing Formula 1 team after this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
It has been confirmed that following the sale of the British team to Dorilton Capital, the Williams family will depart F1 after 43 years and 79 races. Sunday’s grand prix at Monza will be the final one for Sir Frank Williams and Claire Williams.
The family have been at the helm since their first race on 8 May 1977 at the Circuito de Jarama in Spain. Under their ownership the team have gone on to win 114 grand prix, taken 128 pole positions and lifted nine F1 constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ world championships.
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi currently line up for the Grove-based team and drive the FW43 in the 2020 championship.
British driver Russell tweeted: “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. Thank you for everything. We’ll keep driving like hell to honour the Williams name.”
Right time to leave F1
The recent sale of Williams Grand Prix Engineering to US-based investment firm Dorilton Capital ensures the long-term future of the team in F1.
Claire Williams, the deputy team principal, said the change of ownership was a timely point for the family to exit the sport. She said: “With the future of the team now secured, this feels like the appropriate time for us to step away from the sport.
“As a family, we have always prioritised Williams. We have demonstrated that by our recent actions with the strategic review process and 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.”
She 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 1 has been our life for so long and now it’s time for a new chapter in our lives to begin.”
New board of directors
Williams Grand Prix Engineering has confirmed that Matthew Savage, Darren Fultz and James Matthews will make up the company’s new board of directors following Dorilton Capital’s acquisition of the team that was announced on 21 August.
Savage is chairman of Dorilton Capital while fellow co-founder Fultz became CEO in 2018.
Matthews is the CEO of Eden Rock Group, an investment advisory firm headquartered in London. The Brit is a former racing driver and the co-founders of Eden Rock have a background in motorsports spanning more than 30 years.
A statement said: “The new board recognises and appreciates the importance of retaining Williams’ heritage and culture and will continue to work with the senior management to leverage its capabilities to return it to racing competitively.”
Savage added: “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.”