Claire Williams OBE is the former Deputy Team Principal of the Williams Formula 1 racing team, in which role she was one of only two women to lead a Formula 1 team in the modern era.
Under her leadership Williams finished 3rd in the World Championship for Constructors in 2014 and 2015, the teams best performance since 2003.
Claire grew up around Formula 1 since her late father, Sir Frank Williams, was the founder of the Williams Grand Prix Engineering F1 team, winning nine Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Politics in 1999, Claire began her career in motor racing as a Press Officer for Silverstone Circuit. In 2002, she joined the Williams Formula 1 racing team as Communications Officer.
Claire was promoted to the role of Head of Communications in 2010 and the following year took on the position of Head of Investor Relations following the company’s public listing.
In 2012 Claire was promoted to the role of Commercial Director responsible for securing the team’s seasonal racing budget of £75m.
When Frank Williams stepped down from the Williams board in 2012, Claire became the Williams family representative in her role as Commercial and Marketing Director.
In March 2013 the board appointed her Deputy Team Principal, the de facto team leader responsible for the day-to- day running and long-term development of the race team. While stepping back, Sir Frank Williams retained the Team Principal title.
As a result, Claire has been among the most prominent and successful women in recent Formula 1 history.
After taking the team to successive third places in the Constructors’ Championships in just her second and third years in charge, Claire maintained the team’s prominence with top 5 finishes in 2016 and 2017.
During her tenure, Claire was a keen advocate for greater diversity and inclusion within her own team and across the sport as a whole. She acted as the catalyst to give Susie Wolff the chance to become the first female racing driver to participate in a Formula One race weekend since 1992.
She subsequently became an Ambassador for Susie’s Dare to be Different initiative which encouraged young girls to consider a career in motorsport. As Vice President of the Spinal Injuries Association,
Claire also sought to encourage spinal cord injured individuals into the team and established workplace opportunities for wheelchair users.
Since successfully negotiating the sale of the Williams F1 team in 2020 Claire has provided consultancy services to brands entering Formula 1 and is a popular speaker at corporate events where she shares insights on leading high performing teams.
She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours List in recognition of her services to Formula One.