And it’s not just the tangible parts such as hardware and personnel that make up the 40-odd year old team that have come under increased scrutiny in the last 12 months: the entire culture of the organisation has been looked at in order to revive Williams’ fortunes.
“When you are where we found ourselves last year, you have to look at every element of your business and that’s exactly what we’ve done. I think that just trying to change one thing or doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome isn’t going to steer you in the direction in which you need to be going, so we have literally looked at everything.” said Williams.
“We have obviously changed our drivers, we’ve changed certain structures within the organization, we’ve addressed all the areas around performance that we need to, and I think that probably the one thing that we have kept stable is the engine this year. So it’s making sure that all parts of the jigsaw puzzle are fitting correctly and going from there.” she continued.
She also spoke of the team’s and her family’s F1 legacy that her father Sir Frank Williams began in 1977 when he founded Williams Grand Prix Engineering with Sir Patrick Head and what that means to her, and how it spurs her on to achieve much more in future.
“This is our family’s team, so there is a lot riding on that. One of the reasons why I took this job was to protect not just my dad’s but my mum’s legacy in this sport. It’s a legacy that we’re enormously proud of.”
“I care very deeply about the reputation of this team, I care very deeply about the people that work for us and I want to make sure that they have a team that they can be proud of and that this team survives for many, many, many years to come in our sport.”
And it seems that Claire is prepared to fight for the Williams team’s future in Formula 1 and to protect its legacy.
“I’ve got my sleeves rolled up and I’m going to fight with every inch of my being in order to achieve what I want Williams to achieve and I won’t give up until I do. I’ll go down fighting if I have to, but I will continue to fight for this team because I believe in it. I believe it has a place in this sport, I believe it still has a very great relevance and it shouldn’t be where it is.”
Williams go into the 2019 Formula 1 season on the back of their worst in their 42 year history, with just seven points on the board.