Claire Williams has stated that Williams historically had strong public support from both fans and the media given its position as an “underdog” team competing against the corporate giants of Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.
However, as the cars slipped further towards the back of the grid and financial problems began to mount, that goodwill turned into criticism of the team’s leadership and its boss in particular.
“People started to turn a little bit and particularly, against me, quite rightly, I was the leader. I was the boss and the buck stops with me,” Williams stated via a podcast with The Spectator.
“But equally...you make decisions at the time because you think that they're the right decisions, and sometimes those decisions don't go your way.
“And that's what happened in my case, but of course, I got a lot of a lot of flack for it. I got a lot of scrutiny for it, I got a whole load of abuse, apparently on social media.”
Williams didn’t let the criticism feed into her decision making and doing what was best for the team though.
“I couldn't listen to that noise. (That) for me would have taken up a huge amount of negative energy. And I needed to focus my attention on the team and to prove to everybody that I could do it,” Williams added.
"And I think I could have done it if I'd been given some more time, and I had the money, but we didn't have the luxury of a huge title sponsor, or a car manufacturer plugging 100 million into the team, year on year."