Hamilton ‘dreamed’ of driving a Williams

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton PA

Six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton said at one point in his career he “dreamed” of driving a classic Williams.

On Thursday it was announced that Claire Williams will step down from her deputy team principal role at Williams following the Italian Grand Prix, at which point the whole Williams family will step away from Formula 1, having been involved since Sir Frank Williams co-founded the team in 1977.

The team’s new owners Dorilton have already announced a new board of directors, made up of Matthew Savage, Darren Fultz and James Matthews.

Tributes have been coming in from across the world of motorsport, including from Hamilton.

And he revealed the dream he once had to drive a classic Williams car like Nigel Mansell’s or David Coulthard’s before his move to Mercedes came about.

“I’m a big fan of Sir Frank and his incredible contribution to the sport,” Hamilton told Sky F1.

“He was always so positive to me and was one of the people I respected most here.

“He was probably one of the most honest, if not the most honest person in Formula 1. And so definitely sad to see an end of a chapter, but I think the legacy will continue.

“I was hopeful at some stage that they were going to come back and be back at the front.

“I remember dreaming of driving the car that [Nigel] Mansell had, or one of DC’s [David Coulthard’s] cars or something… but it never turned into a real option for me. And that’s when I moved obviously to Mercedes.

“But I wish them all the best and all the health in the world on their next endeavours.”

Get your hands on the official Williams 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Sebastian Vettel also took a trip into the past and revealed how Frank Williams wasn’t very “convinced” about the idea of him testing with Williams-BMW in 2005.

But from there the four-time World Champion told Sky F1 that he went on to form a “great relationship” with Sir Frank.

“I did my first test with Williams, Williams-BMW at the time, in 2005 and Frank wasn’t quite sure when Mario [Theissen, then BMW boss] told him I was going to drive the car,” Vettel reminisced.

“He didn’t look very convinced!

“But obviously that’s how we got to know each other and we have a great relationship.

“I never raced with Williams, but Williams is a team I associate with a lot of success. Brilliant performances in the 90s, German drivers, Heinz-Harald Frentzen but also Ralf Schumacher.

“It’s a shame the team got beaten so badly in the last few years and was in such trouble. I hope the name stays and wish the best for Frank, and Claire as well.”

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