Claire Williams: Dad Frank leaves incredible F1 legacy
An emotional Claire Williams paid tribute to her father, Sir Frank, as a historic chapter in British sport closed in Monza.
Sir Frank Williams, 78, who founded the constructor in 1977, and Claire, who assumed the day-to-day running of the team seven years ago, are departing Formula One following the family’s 739th and concluding race.
Williams are the third most successful team in the sport’s history, behind only Ferrari and McLaren. They have won 114 times and 16 combined drivers’ and teams’ titles. But the family will play no further part in its F1 operation after selling up to US investment firm Dorilton Capital.
“Frank has been in Formula One a whole lot longer than most people in this paddock,” said Claire, 44.
“It is extraordinary what my dad has done, I am so proud of him. I have been inspired by him.
“This sport has given our family so much and we will be eternally grateful. We have had a wonderful life thanks to Formula One.
“We have felt enormously privileged to be in this sport and my dad leaves an incredible legacy. We will always remember that and always be proud of that.”
Claire waved her drivers, the Briton George Russell and Canadian Nicholas Latifi, out of their respective garages ahead of the race.
But there would be no fairytale ending with both cars outside of the points. Latifi finished 11th, three places ahead of Russell.
Despite their great success in the 1980s and 1990s – producing Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill as world champions – Williams have won just one race in the last 16 years.
They have finished bottom of the constructors’ championship for the past two seasons and are without a point in 2020.
“I would like to take the opportunity to say to Frank and Claire: thank you from me and the whole team,” said Russell following Sunday’s race. “We’ll miss you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”