Claire Williams becomes deputy team principal

2013 F1 season

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Claire Williams, Frank Williams, Williams, Barcelona, 2012Claire Williams has taken on the role of deputy team principal at the team founded by her father Frank Williams.

The death of his wife Virginia Williams led the team to postpone the announcement while was originally going to be made at the start of the season.

Claire Williams joined the team’s board in April last year and will continue her role as commercial director.

Frank Williams said he believes “the future of Williams is in extremely safe hands” following her appointment.

“Over the past decade Claire has worked tirelessly for Williams,” he said. “Her knowledge of the sport and passion for the team is unquestionable and I?m proud to say that during her time here she has proven herself to be one of our most valuable assets.”

“This appointment also had Ginny?s blessing who I know would have been incredibly proud to have seen Claire taking on this position by my side,” he added.

Claire Williams said: “I have grown up in the sport and have learnt the ropes from one of Formula One?s legendary team principals and as a result I feel well equipped for this new challenge.”

“I understand the commitment that every person within the team gives each day to see our car out on the track and I am determined to see us back at the top.”

“It has been a sad month for my family and Williams as a company following the death of my mother, but as the season takes hold we must look to the future,” she added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Claire Williams becomes deputy team principal”

  1. It’s so heartening to see women taking top roles in motorsport, even if it is the family business. Good luck to Claire. (I could never work alongside my dad – it would drive me mad!)

    1. You’re right, this is great for motorsport. It’s a well known fact that women are far more competitive and ruthless than men (we’re more intelligent though :P), and I’m sure Frank would’ve imbued Claire with the passion, wisdom and knowledge needed to excel within F1 (It’s also reassuring that the family’s integral link to the team is still alive and kicking). The King is (almost) dead, Long live the Queen! :-)

      1. You know it’s stereotypes that drive discrimination. Even positive stereotypes can be bad when considering the situation as a whole. Try not to generalise based on gender. Focus on the talents of the individual.

        1. I know, my comment was tongue-in-cheek. The points that you’ve are indeed correct though.

          1. *the points that you’ve made

    2. I hear you but what about Johnny?

  2. I think Claire is a great choice and ensures that the Williams legacy will go on even after Frank retires from the sport.

    They still need more technical people, though. :)

  3. I really hope she makes a good job of it, and so good to see the name Williams still at the heart of the team for years to come hopefully.

  4. Good to see Williams has now got a clear plan for the future, after first Parr, and then Wolff did not turn out to the the right options.

    1. Wolff is still involved, well he has shares but I’m not sure he was ever meant to be a Team Principle and Parr was Chairman, a business role not up for Team Principle more running the whole group which includes the Advanced Engineering arm and the parts over in Middle East.

      On the flyaway races other members of the team have been performing the Team Principle role but this will probably mean Claire Williams takes over on those occasions.

      And either way, congratulations to her.

  5. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    27th March 2013, 10:56

    Great to see more women in motor sport at any level. I hope we don’t get too PC though and start getting ‘grid guys’ holding the boards on the grid.

    By the way did anyone see Simona de Silvestro’s strong Indycar performance at St Peteresburg at the Weekend? She was very quick and consistent for the whole race. Much better than Danica Patrick on road courses.

    1. We already had grid guys a couple of years ago, in Valencia I think.

  6. Monisha vs Clare! :-)

  7. thatscienceguy
    27th March 2013, 11:35

    Great news and good for Williams. Good to see that long term stability and a succession plan seems to be in place. How long until Mercedes poach her?

    1. Give it 5 minutes. Mercedes officials are on a plane from Berlin as we speak.

    2. Indeed, I was dreading the day that Frank passed on and the team became board controlled and now thankfully Frank appears to have solved that particular problem by making this appointment. I feel confident now that the Williams Team’s heritage and pedigree will be protected and preserved for another generation at least! Good luck Claire!

      1. Aren’t Mercedes based in Stuttgart?

  8. I do like how Frank always wears his navy v-neck jumpers, with no attempt made at branding them.

    1. Being Sir Frank Williams he need not bother with the team insignia on his attire, its totally superfluous. It’s like me wearing a name badge when I go round to my friends house, pointless.

    2. I read somewhere that he makes a joke of the fact he has been wearing the same pair of shoes for many many years.

      I think it the comment came David Coulthard.

  9. Anyone else think that Frank should have an engine on his wheelchair? :-)

    1. I know, right ? It seems like an obvious thing to do. hehe

    2. And active suspension!

  10. She’s doing a Q&A on Twitter at the moment and asked which drivers from any period in history she’d hire she picked Nigel Mansell and Juan Pablo Montoya – what a line-up that would be!

    1. sparks would fly! haha

      1. Juan. sighs.

        Williams yet to get a driver of Juan’s caliber, since he left them, handing them a win in his last race. Couldn’t help noticing but the lap record set in Sepang is still Montoya’s 1:34.something.

  11. I have to say, F1 is missing a JPM big time. I wish he would come back!

    1. The closest we’ve come to it seems is Maldonado, but it seems he doesn’t like American food enough… Nor is he half as likable as what JPM was…

      1. Nor half as talented.

    2. whats the general consensus about Montoya ? in terms of driving and image?

      1. I never understood why he left F1 anyway? i am sure he would have had multiple times offer him a drive at the end of his McLaren contract.

        1. I think it was mostly a family decision. He was done at McLaren because him and Ron Dennis seemed to butt heads a lot, especially when he began bringing his wife and child around. He’d always maintained a strong relationship with Chip Ganassi in the US, so he had a spot waiting for him in Ganassi’s NASCAR program. The timing was logical for him. It would have been fantastic to have seen that moved delayed by a few years. He was great to watch.

  12. Keeping it in the family, good to see.

    1. @jaymz

      Keeping it in the family, good to see.

      Is that a sarcastic dig at nepotism, or a genuine expression of satisfaction at seeing the team supporting a family dynasty, and vice-verse?

  13. I honestly hate to say but…. Could this be one of many more moves to come in the wake of Sir Frank Williams’ health declining?

  14. This is good news! I like her driver choices too. Mansell, a great racer and Montoya, loved watching him race Schumacher especially.

  15. It’s hard to imagine a better training ground for a future F1 team principal than spending 36 years at Sir Frank’s side. I’ve been a Williams fan for many years, and Claire eventually taking up the reins of the family business feels right. Great photo, btw.

  16. Is she the same Claire Williams that in the team’s PR department a few years back? She’s a nice person.

    1. *worked

  17. I don’t like nepotism, but as she has been feed F1 from todling age, she has probably spent more than the necessary 10.000 hours under some sort of tutoring – hence she will stand a good chance of success. Her driver choice is likeable and could indicate the necessary shift for Williams towards a choice of respecting the pilot as being a decisive factor, who gets all the special treatment he needs to perform. I have the impression that the leadership of Sir Frank is pretty old-fashioned, and hasn’t developed enough, which is why Williams has treated employees and drivers too rough to be able to hold on to the success they once had. Maybe this shift can bring them back in front.

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