Williams 'overwhelmed' by reaction to her departure after criticism

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Claire Williams was "overwhelmed" by the reaction she received during the family's final weekend in charge of the Formula 1 team at Monza.

Late last month, it was announced the historic Grove-based outfit had been sold to American investment firm Dorilton Capital at the end of a search for new investment.

Then, just a week later, Williams confirmed she was stepping down from running the day-to-day operations, with the family ending their presence in F1 after 43 years.

But after been often a target of criticism for the issues the team has faced in the past few years, the send-off Claire received certainly exceeded her expectations.

“I was genuinely overwhelmed because I thought that people would just go ‘alright see you’,” Williams told The Race.

“I knew the Williams family no longer owning the team would have an impact, but I didn’t realise that it would have that much of an impact.

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“It was really nice to see because I’m very proud and protective of my dad’s legacy, and I wanted people to recognise what he’s contributed to this sport. He still lives and breathes it and has given a lot to Formula 1.

“For me personally, it was nice just to have a little bit of recognition but mostly it was having that from my team.

“What they did for me personally over that weekend I will never forget. I will treasure those memories for the rest of my life.”

Williams then spoke of the decision to leave F1 and insisted she can look back on her seven years in charge with pride.

“I do feel it’s the right time for all of us to step away, I certainly feel it’s the right time for me.

“But I’m really proud of my role, I’m proud that I survived it despite the kickings and I’m proud of everything that our family has done in Formula 1.

“I’m also enormously grateful because it’s been an amazing journey that we’ve been on for nearly five decades.”