Claire Williams gifted nose and front wing assembly from 2014 car as family bows out of F1
In an emotional weekend at Monza, the Williams family stepped away from the team that Sir Frank Williams founded in 1977, with Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams revealing after the race that she'd sent on her way with a very special gift from the team on the day of her swansong...
Claire Williams became Deputy Team Principal of Williams F1 in 2013, but on the eve of the Italian GP she announced she'd be stepping down, along with the rest of the family, following Dorilton Capital's recent purchase of the team.
On a memorable final day in charge she led Nicholas Latifi out of the garage before receiving tear-jerking radio messages from Latifi and George Russell at the end of the race, when Williams narrowly missed out on scoring points.
She was also gifted a special present, in honour of her favourite memory as team boss: Williams' double podium at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished second and third behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the final day of the season. It was the last double-podium finish for Williams to date.
“I think if I’m looking at the racetrack, for me, personally, taking that finish in Abu Dhabi in 2014 I will forever cherish,” said Claire Williams. “Today the team gave me a present, and it was the nose and front wing assembly from that [FW36] car.
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“Our time in that sport has been so magical. For me [it’s] the people I will miss. We’ve always had great relationships up and down the paddock but the people in this team have been what has inspired us in this sport. they’ve been fantastic and it’s those guys we’ll miss the most, that we’ll get the most memories from,” she explained.
The send-off in Italy made for a “difficult day” as, for the first time in over four decades that have included nine constructors’ championships, 114 wins, 128 pole positions and 243 podiums, the Williams family will not be involved in the running of their team starting with the Tuscan Grand Prix.
“It’s obviously quite a difficult day,” explained Claire. “I'm here, my last day and I would like to enjoy the moment and soak everything up and everybody has been so incredibly supportive, it’s been really quite humbling.
“And I do feel, as I said regularly over the past few days, that this just feels like the right time for us to bow out and we’ve had a great time in this sport – I can’t tell you. We’ve felt, always, enormously privileged to come into this sport.
“I think my dad leaves, with Patrick [Head, co-founder], an incredible legacy in Formula 1. And that’s something we will always remember and always be proud of.”