The Williams family is set to leave Formula One after standing down from the leadership of the team that carries its name.
Frank Williams is in his 51st year as team principal of the team he founded, although the day-to-day running of the team was passed to his daughter in 2013. Claire Williams has operated as deputy principal in that time but will leave that role after Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Last month, the Williams family oversaw the sale of the team to private investment firm Dorilton Capital.
Ahead of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Claire Williams insisted the team would continue with “business as usual”, but less than a week later it was confirmed she will be replaced.
Williams has named three people to its new board of directors. Matthew Savage, the chairman of Dorilton Capital, company CEO and co-founder Darren Fultz and Eden Rock Group CEO James Matthews are the men who will lead Williams into its new era.
Williams gave an emotional farewell message after the news was confirmed on Thursday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am stepping away from my role with the team,” she said. “I had hoped to continue my tenure long into the future and to preserve the Williams family’s legacy into the next generation.
“However, our need to find inward investment earlier this year due to a number of factors, many of which were outside of our control, resulted in the sale of the team to Dorilton Capital. My family has always put our racing team and our people first and this was absolutely the right decision. I know in them we have found the right people to take Williams back to the front of the grid while also preserving the Williams legacy.
“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.”