The Williams Formula 1 team was one of the last independent teams in the sport until they were officially sold to Dorliton Capital, a U.S-based private investment firm, last month. It seems, however, the team’s recent change of ownership was just the beginning. Now, Williams Racing’s original owners and team principal will be handing over the reins as well.
Sir Frank and Claire of the Williams family have announced they will be leaving the team and Formula 1 after the Italian Grand Prix this weekend. This would mark the first time the Williams’ family will not be at the helm of the team since their first Formula 1 race in 1977 at the Circuito de Jarama in Spain.
“With the future of the team now secured, this feels like the appropriate time for us to step away from the sport. As a family, we have always prioritized Williams. We have demonstrated that by our recent actions with the Strategic Review process and we believe now is the right time to hand over the reins and give the new owners the opportunity to take the team into the future,” said Claire Williams OBE, Deputy Team Principal.
Though Williams may not be as successful today, that wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, they were one of the most competitive teams in the grid. Throughout their history, the team has managed 128 pole positions and secured 133 fastest laps, culminating in nine Constructors’ and seven Drivers’ World Championship. They are also the third-longest standing team in the history of the sport next to Ferrari and Mercedes.
“We have been in this sport for more than four decades. We are incredibly proud of our track record and the legacy we leave behind. We have always been in it for the love of it, for the pure pleasure of going motor racing, so this is not a decision that we have taken lightly but after much reflection and as a family,” added Williams.
While the Williams family may no longer be in the sport after this weekend’s race, the sale of the team to Dorilton Capital ensures that the Williams Formula 1 team will continue in the future.