Claire Williams: 'It came up repeatedly that I was a woman'

30-01-2021 12:44 | Updated: 30-01-2021 13:49
F1 News
Claire Williams: 'It came up repeatedly that I was a woman'

The Williams family said goodbye to their Formula 1 team last season. The last few years had been troublesome as they found themselves at the back of the grid. Claire Williams was at the helm of the team during much of this downturn. As the daughter of the much-loved Frank Williams, she received a lot of criticism for this.

Although she says she never paid much attention to that criticism herself, in an interview with The Spectator she is candid in her opinion of it, which over time began to focus on her personally. "And rightly so, I was the leader, the boss and the responsibility is on me."

Claire admits that she may have made wrong decisions, but also says that the team had entered a downward spiral from which it was only possible to escape with a huge investment. This investment was not made as long as Williams owned the team and the results remained poor. Yet some of the criticism has been unjustified according to her.

Williams was a family team

The fact that she was a woman and also Frank's daughter was often cited as a reason for the failure. "That came up repeatedly: 'Oh, it's because she's a woman' and I also heard 'she's only in that spot anyway because she's Frank's daughter, get her out there'."

She ruefully admits that she was there because she is Frank's daughter, but the people who criticise that don't understand the whole point of the team, according to her. Although Frank was once against having his children work for his team, it has slowly become a family team. A fact that has also been used in their marketing strategy in recent years.

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