Williams Family Ends Involvement with F1 Team

The Williams family will step down from running the historic F1 Team after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.
  • Williams was founded by the legendary Sir Frank Williams in 1977.
  • The third oldest team in F1, Williams has won 114 races and 9 constructors' titles.
  • The team was sold less than a fortnight ago to New York Investment Firm, Dorilton Capital.

This weekend will mark the end of an era, as Williams F1 team enters its last race with its founding family at the helm. The Williams family has overseen an impressive 43-year history, with this weekend being their 739th race entry.

After a challenging few years and the coronavirus pandemic, their need to find "inward investment" meant that Claire Williams had to oversee the sale of the team, in order to secure its long term future on the F1 grid.


One can only imagine how hard it will have been for Williams to make the decision, but we must not forget that it is a decision that allows the team to keep adding to its impressive legacy. Under the Williams family, the team enticed signatures of some of the biggest names in F1 history: Senna, Prost and Mansell to name just a few.

Recent years have proved more trying for the Grove-based team, having won just one race in the last 15 years. The rising costs of running a team and the huge budgets enjoyed by their front-running rivals have made it extraordinarily difficult for Williams to compete on the same level.

It is fitting then that Claire's last act as Team Principal was to help shape and commit to a fairer set of technical and financial regulations. This, along with the capital offered by Dorilton will no doubt give Williams their best chance to return to winning ways in the future. The decision to step down was ultimately made by Claire herself:

“I have taken the decision to step away from the team in order to allow Dorilton a fresh start as the new owners. It has not been an easy decision but it’s one I believe to be right for all involved. I have been enormously privileged to have grown up in this team and in the wonderful world that is Formula One. I have loved every minute and will be forever grateful for the opportunities it has given me. But it’s also an incredibly challenging sport and I now want to see what else the world holds for me. Most importantly, I want to spend time with my family.
“I would like to thank Dorilton for their support and for understanding my decision. I would also like to thank our fans who have stuck by us through thick and thin. Our people at Williams have always been family, they have kept me motivated during the difficult times and it is them who I will miss the most. It is my genuine hope that the process we’ve gone through brings them the success they deserve. And finally, I would like to thank my Dad for everything he has given to the team, the sport and our family.”

It would indeed be wrong not to thank Sir Frank Williams for his contribution to F1. He is an extraordinary man by all accounts, and the achievements of the sport's longest serving Team Principal speak for themselves.

RaceDepartment would like to thank the Williams family for everything they have done for motorsport, and wish the team that will continue to race under their name the very best as Formula One heads into a new era.

For more news or debate from the world of Formula One, check out our F1 sub forum and engage with our highly knowledgeable community!


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22. Software Engineer with experience in Formula One and Motorsport simulation.

CC

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Apr 27, 2013
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That is awful news maybe I read it wrong last time I thought they sold the team but would still be running it etc I never thought they sold it and was leaving 100% a massive historical F1 team ended because someone wanted to eat some bat soup seems even harsher!
 
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FinFan

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Apr 21, 2017
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Since the new owner is an investment group I wonder what they will do if the didn't get a return. They surely have a target as to when they want to make money. They must see something otherwise they wouldn't invest. It's not like some crazy rich guy buying himself an F1 team just for the fun of owning it.
 

PawelP

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May 13, 2017
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Really end of a historic period :cry: beautiful, legendary cars and very positive team. What Claire can do without good engineer? Nothing...
 

homecalendar

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Nov 3, 2015
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In fact its a good news. It was impossible and painful to see so great and legendary team in today situation. Many thanks to the Williams family for everything they did. And we will always be with the team. Now the team needs theirs fans more than ever.
 
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pitkin

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Sep 6, 2008
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After Lotus, Williams have been my favourite team since I started watching F1 in 1985. Sadly, if Frank or his family are no longer involved,it's going to be just another corporate investment, rather than a team that's in it for the competition.
Thanks for the great memories.
 

michelforest

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Mar 2, 2010
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I still remember vividly when Williams won its first race. Silverstone 1979 with good old Clay Regazzoni at the wheel. Suddenly, the Williams was the car to beat. Good looking car too.

I've always liked that team and always had tremendous respect for Sir Frank. A true racer and one incredibly determined man. Someone who lived for F1. It was really sad to see the team steadily go down the standings and hit rock bottom over the last couple of seasons. And contrary to many, I don't blame Claire for the team's demise. No one could have done better considering what F1 has become. How can a private team compete when other spend 400 million dollars a year and employ 1000 people? It was mission impossible.

Very sad day for F1.
 

Copef1

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Nov 17, 2009
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I still remember vividly when Williams won its first race. Silverstone 1979 with good old Clay Regazzoni at the wheel. Suddenly, the Williams was the car to beat. Good looking car too.

I've always liked that team and always had tremendous respect for Sir Frank. A true racer and one incredibly determined man. Someone who lived for F1. It was really sad to see the team steadily go down the standings and hit rock bottom over the last couple of seasons. And contrary to many, I don't blame Claire for the team's demise. No one could have done better considering what F1 has become. How can a private team compete when other spend 400 million dollars a year and employ 1000 people? It was mission impossible.

Very sad day for F1.
I remember that car, the FW07. It was Williams first ground effects car. Designed by Patrick Head and Neil Oatley. By the end of the year Alan Jones was winning everything in that car. If they would of had that car at the beginning of the year, Jody Scheckter and Ferrari wouldn't have won the 1979 WDC. In 1980 Jones, and Williams, took the FW07B to the WDC, and the Constructors Championship.
 
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Twisteddrift

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May 8, 2020
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This truly sad. I just hope the name carries on into the future and maybe with this funding from Dorilton there will be fighting in the midfield with two drivers capable of doing it. No offense to Latfi.

Huge respect to Sir Frank for what he has done. He is a remarkable person. Wishing you and Clarie and the rest of the Williams family the best for the future.