Capito discusses Claire Williams’ ‘very hard’ F1 exit

Jamie Woodhouse
Claire Williams walks through the F1 paddock. England, July 2020.

Williams team boss Jost Capito said it was “very difficult” for Claire Williams to make the right call in stepping away from F1.

The Williams team had been family owned since they were founded in 1977, that was until the Grove outfit was sold to American investment firm Dorilton Capital in the summer of 2020.

From 2013-2020 Claire Williams had served as deputy team principal, handling much of the day-to-day operations as her late father and the team’s founder Sir Frank Williams continued as principal.

But at the point that the team was sold to Dorilton, Williams were very much at their all-time low, having scored just one point in 2019, while 2020 saw them finish without a point for the first time.

Ultimately the funding to truly turn the team’s fortunes around were not there, so the Williams family handed over their team to Dorilton.

Since then the investment has been coming in, with work ongoing to modernise Williams’ equipment, as well changes to team personnel, including Capito taking over as CEO and team principal.

Capito explained that Claire Williams knew she was making the correct decision by moving on from Formula 1, but that did not make it easy.

Alex Albon driving the FW44. Barcelona February 2022

“I think it was very hard for Claire to step back even though she knows it’s the right decision,” Capito told reporters in Barcelona, as quoted by F1i.com.

Of course considering the emotional investment from Claire into the Williams team, it is no surprise to hear from Capito that he remains in contact with her.

That being said, while he endeavors to make sure he is always “reachable”, at the same time Capito says it is also important for Claire to keep some distance from the team.

 

“I’m in contact with Claire, and I agreed with her that if she wants to know something, if she wants to be in touch, I’m always reachable, but I think she needs some distance,” Capito stated.

“We are on very good terms, and [I want to] give her the freedom she needs to have.

“Now, especially with Frank passing away, it’s even harder for her, and she needs some time for the family.

“But she knows she can contact me and visit me whenever she wants.”

 

‘Radical’ Williams FW44 catches the eye

The Williams FW44 has caught the eye of Damon Hill.