Claire Williams OBE is the former Deputy Team Principal of the Williams Formula One racing team.
Claire grew up around Formula One, with her father, Sir Frank Williams, being the founder of the Williams Formula One racing team, winning nine Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships, whilst producing legendary drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Jenson Button.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Politics in 1999, Claire began her career in motor racing as a Press Officer for the Silverstone Circuit. In 2002, she joined the Williams Formula One racing team as a Communications Officer. Claire was promoted to the role of Head of Communications in 2010, and, in 2011, she took on the position of Head of Investor Relations following the business’ public listing to supplement her communications role. In 2012, Claire also took on 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 on the board in her role as Commercial and Marketing Director. In March 2013, she was appointed Deputy Team Principal of the Williams F1 racing team. Claire was responsible for the day-to-day running and long-term development of the race team for eight years.
Claire has been the most prominent and successful woman in Formula One in most recent years, taking the team to successive third places in the Constructors’ Championships in just her second and third years in charge.
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 was the catalyst that gave Susie Wolff the chance to become the first woman to participate in a Formula One weekend since 1992 and subsequently became an Ambassador for Susie’s Dare to be Different initiative which encourages young girls to consider a career in motorsport.
Through her various diversity programmes at Williams, Claire was able to increase the volume of women applying for roles within the Williams team while also improving the work environment for the team’s existing female employees. 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 her retirement, Claire provides consultancy services to brands entering into Formula 1, as well as guest appearances at Q&As with international corporations to discuss her experiences in running a Formula 1 team in the modern era.
Claire 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. She announced her retirement from Formula One in 2020.