Williams reveals two factors that meant ‘game over’

Mark Scott
Claire Williams

Claire Williams has said the Williams family would have been “OK” to continue if it wasn’t for the loss of their title sponsors and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza was the last race overseen by Sir Frank Williams and daughter Claire in their respective team principal and deputy team principal roles following the sale to investment company Dorilton Capital.

It marked the end of an era in Formula 1 as the last independently-owned team was sold, but Claire Williams said there was a scenario which could have meant the family remaining in charge.

If it wasn’t for the sudden collapse of their title sponsor deal with ROKiT and the Covid-19 pandemic then the Williams would have been “OK”, yet those two factors ultimately left the family with no option but to sell.

“We had exhausted every avenue open to us,” Williams said in an interview with The Telegraph.

“I did think, coming into this year, that we had turned a corner. We had new title partners, who were promising the earth. Then that collapsed, and coronavirus hit. It was game over.

“There was no coming back from that. If those two things hadn’t happened, we would have been OK.”

While Williams tried to keep all options on the table when they launched their internal strategic review of the team, Claire knew the only realistic option was to sell the team.

She said: “We saw that fairly early on, if I’m honest, considering the types of organisations that would want to invest in something like this. They’re going to want full control.

“It was the inevitable conclusion.”

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Claire Williams’ main focus is on her family now that Formula 1 is no longer a part of her everyday life.

“I’ve experienced how much F1 takes away,” she said.

“I’m now in the position where I can be a mum, a wife. I also want to focus on my dad, as he’s moving very near to us at home. There’s a lot of work involved in that, and I want to make sure it all goes smoothly.

“I’m going to go home, regroup, recalibrate. It takes a lot out of you, this sport, and I want to go and build myself back up a little bit, work out who I am away from Formula 1.

“I’ve always been Claire Williams, Frank Williams’s daughter. I’d like just to go away and be my own person, see what that feels like.”

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