Williams family departure a ‘shock’ to the team

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Claire Williams Frank Williams-PA

The news that Claire and Sir Frank Williams were to leave their roles came as a shock to the team according to the head of vehicle performance.

Prior to the Italian Grand Prix, it was announced that, following the sale of the team, the team founder and his daughter would be leaving their roles as Team Principal and Deputy Team Principal immediately after it.

It marked the end of an era for the team that had always been run by the family, and Dave Robson, the Williams head of vehicle performance, says it took the staff by surprise.

“That news at the beginning of this weekend was a bit of a surprise to us and obviously it’s a real shame that it marks the end of an era with the Williams family’s involvement in the team,” he told Autosport.

“But beyond that, it hasn’t changed what we’ve been doing this weekend, as last weekend. Claire is still here and in charge and the exact ramifications of it going forwards I haven’t really given too much thought to yet.”

Speaking prior to the recent announcement, Robson stated that the future of the team was unclear, but was optimistic and keen to focus on the present.

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“It’s a big shock to everyone. And quite how the future will pan out is still a little bit of an unknown, but hopefully, it’ll be a good and exciting future,” he added.

“We’ll find out more in the coming weeks, but at the moment we’re very much focused on day to day business at the track.”

It has since been confirmed that Simon Roberts will be taking over as Acting Team Principal for the foreseeable future. He was previously Managing Director at the team.

“I am delighted to be announced as Acting Team Principal for Williams during this transitional period,” Roberts said upon confirmation of Williams’ latest announcement.

“It is an exciting time ahead for the team, a new era for Williams and one that I am excited to be playing a part in. I look forward to the challenge ahead as we look to take the team back to the front of the grid.”

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