Why did Claire Williams leave F1?

The world of Formula 1 and even motorsport as a whole was shocked when the Williams family announced they were separating from their team, a 40-year association.


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The team was sold to Dorilton Capital and Claire Williams said goodbye to her father’s legacy after the September 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

The decision certainly doesn’t have to have been an easy one. But why did Claire Williams take such a drastic step? Let’s find out.


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Williams F1 was in a mess on and off the track

The Grove-based outfit was no longer what it used to be. Claire inherited a struggling team that barely seemed to make ends meet, both on and off the grid.

In her debut season as deputy team boss, her team was only able to collect 5 points. There was, however, a brief resurgence under their responsibility. In the next four seasons, the British team finished 3rd in a row and 5th place twice thereafter.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Nicholas Latifi from Canada drives the (6) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes on track during practice prior to the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Hamad Mohammed – Pool /  )

But then came the years of work again. From 2018 to this date, the team was only able to win 8 points! In addition, their funding has also been severely affected.

They had lost over $ 23 million in 2018 and, despite significant financial support from sponsors, still lost $ 18 million in 2019. The situation worsened when the pandemic broke out and the historic team lagged behind in deeper waters.

This played an important role when Claire said it was over. She revealed, “We have always put our team first. We have always done that in the four decades that we have competed in this sport. This team has always been in our hearts, the center of our family.

“We have always put it first, so in that sense it was relatively easy to make that decision just because we wanted to make sure the team had a strong future, that it would survive, and that it would lead to great success . ”

Claire was mentally exhausted and couldn’t work for anyone else

The former deputy team boss had also announced that despite the sale of their team, the new owners were keen to keep them on board. However, she declined this offer.

The reason she gave was, “It was absolutely my choice and I want to make that clear. Dorilton asked me to continue. They asked before the sale was completed, they asked after the sale was completed. But I think a clean break is probably best for everyone.

CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, MONTMELO, SPAIN: Claire Williams, Williams Deputy Team Principal, on day four of F1 winter testing. (Photo by Marco Canoniero / LightRocket via  )

“Now that it’s not ours, I don’t feel like I could put the same amount of energy into her. The last few years have been incredibly tough.


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“You took a lot from me. To be honest, I think Dorilton needs someone who has more energy than I currently have. “

As a result, the last family-owned team in F1 no longer held that title. Now under Dorilton’s possession, Williams F1 is hoping for a new dawn as they ascend to their former glory. Can that ever be achieved again? Only time can tell.


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