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Capito: Claire Williams needs 'distance' from F1

Former Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams stepped down from the team her late father Sir Frank founded after it was acquired by new owners in August 2020.

Williams Team Principal Jost Capito says the team's former Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams needs some distance from F1, after having stepped away from the sport in September 2020. The team were founded as Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1978 by Claire's father Sir Frank Williams, with Claire taking over the day-to-day running of the team in 2013. After a difficult few years in performance and financial terms, Williams Racing were acquired by investment firm Dorilton Capital in August 2020, with Frank and Claire Williams stepping down from their management roles and away from the team the following month. After a brief spell in charge of McLaren in 2016, Capito took over as Williams Team Principal in June 2021, and the German spoke of how difficult it had been for Claire Williams to step away from the team that had been family-run since their inception.

Capito: It was very hard for Williams to step back

Capito explained that he does maintain contact with Williams, but that she found it very difficult to step back and hand over control of the team to another party. "I think it was very hard for Claire to step back, even though she knows it's the right decision," Capito told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I'm in contact with Claire, and I agreed with her that if she wants to know something, if she wants to be in touch, I'm always reachable, but I think she needs some distance." Sir Frank Williams died in November 2021 at the age of 79, after having been wheelchair-bound since a car accident in 1986, and Capito added that the current priority for Claire - who is married with a four-year-old son - is her family. "We are on very good terms, and [I want to] give her the freedom she needs to have," said Capito. "Now, especially with Frank passing away, it's even harder for her, and she needs some time for the family, but she knows she can contact me and visit me whenever she wants."

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