You may not have heard of Claire Williams OBE if you are not a fan of Formula 1. However, you may recognise her name or face if you frequent the area of the campus near the Bedson building, as it is there that you will see a sign showing her to be alumni of Newcastle University. Williams graduated from Newcastle University in 1999 with a degree in politics.
However, it was most likely not her Newcastle University degree that got her the role of Deputy Team Principal at Williams Racing, but the fact that it is a family team, founded by her father, or at least it was.
The news of Claire Williams stepping down from her role as Deputy Team Principal comes after the news that the team was bought by Dorilton Capital at the end of August this year. This news came to disappoint many F1 fans around the world as they loved the idea of a family founded and run Formula 1 team. The news of this acquisition marks the end of family-owned teams in Formula 1, with all ten now being owned by corporations.
Claire Williams announced that she and her father, Sir Frank Williams will be stepping down after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, not even staying for the rest of the season. I know I will be disappointed to see the only female team principal leaving Formula 1, a sport currently dominated by men, despite the ability for female drivers to compete against male drivers.
Dorilton Capital will continue to race with the Williams name, showing respect for the history and legacy of the team. If you check Williams' recent track record, you may be disappointed to see they have finished bottom of the standings in each of the past two seasons - and are currently the only team without a point in 2020. However, after being founded in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams, the team dominated F1 during the 80s and 90s. The team has won nine constructors championships and seven driver's titles.
Despite recent failings at the track, Williams are adored across the world, leaving F1 lovers sad at the family's exit from F1. However, hopefully, the new financial backing - as well as the new Concorde agreement, will help Williams return to the front of the grid.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram @WilliamsRacing