Women in F1… say hello to Claire!

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Last year Sauber made news by appointing Monisha Kaltenborn to the role of team principal and for her part, she’s done a terrific job. the team saw a resurgence in 2012 and now have signed the driving talents of Nico Hulkenberg.

For some time now folks have offered the thought of females drivers in Formula One and most recently F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone hinted that it would be great to see Danica Patrick in the series. The truth is, there are lots of terrific female personalities in F1. I met a throng of female team members in Austin all working very hard and very efficiently. Sure, there are no female drivers but in the end, being a team boss may hold more interest for those dipping their toes in the piranha-filled waters of F1. Kaltenborn being one example and now we have another.

Claire Williams has been assigned as the deputy  team principal of Williams F1 and it’s terrific news. Claire has always been very friendly to us here at F1B in her role as PR and media relations. We’re excited about her new appointment and wish her the very best. Here is the press release:

Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (WGPH, Ticker: WGF1) has announced today that Claire Williams is to become the Deputy Team Principal of the Williams F1 Team.

This newly created position will see Claire work alongside Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams to play a pivotal role in the day to day running and long term development of the race team. The position will strengthen the future of the team and create a clear succession path for Williams. The team had planned to announce this new appointment before the start of the 2013 season, but following the death of Lady Virginia Williams earlier this month, it was decided by Frank and Claire to delay this announcement to afford the family privacy.

Claire will take up her new position with immediate effect, whilst also retaining her Commercial Director role leading the marketing, communications and sponsorship functions of the business. Claire will continue to be part of the Company’s Board of Directors and will be supported by and work in collaboration with the full Board.

Claire has been Director of Marketing and Communications at Williams for the past year and has been responsible for continuing to develop the commercial strategy of the business and generating new revenue for the team. She has grown through the organisation over the last ten years, starting as a Williams press officer in 2002. In 2010 she was promoted to Head of Communications and after Williams floated on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2011, she took on the position of Head of Investor Relations.

Speaking about Claire’s new role, Sir Frank Williams commented;

“Over the past decade Claire has worked tirelessly for Williams. Her knowledge of the sport and passion for the team is unquestionable and I’m proud to say that during her time here she has proven herself to be one of our most valuable assets. With Claire being appointed Deputy Team Principal, I know the future of Williams is in extremely safe hands. This appointment also had Ginny’s blessing who I know would have been incredibly proud to have seen Claire taking on this position by my side.’’

Commenting on her new role, Claire Williams said;

“I’m truly honoured to be taking on the role of Deputy Team Principal and look forward to working alongside Frank to help run the team this season and beyond. I have grown up in the sport and have learnt the ropes from one of Formula One’s legendary Team Principals and as a result I feel well equipped for this new challenge. I understand the commitment that every person within the team gives each day to see our car out on the track and I am determined to see us back at the top. I don’t underestimate the challenges that lie ahead but I have the full support of the Board and a very talented Executive Committee who will be invaluable as I move forward in this role. It has been a sad month for my family and Williams as a company following the death of my mother, but as the season takes hold we must look to the future. It will be a privilege to play a part in taking the team into what I hope will be a successful next chapter.”

Claire’s Bio

Nationality: British
• Born: 21st July 1976
• Job description: Deputy Team Principal
Career Highlights
2013 Appointed Deputy Team Principal, Williams F1 Team
2012 Appointed Director of Marketing and Communications, Williams
2011 Appointed Head of Communications and Investor Relations, Williams
2010 Appointed Head of Communications, Williams
2002 Joined Williams as Communications Officer
2000 Press Officer, Silverstone Circuit
1999 Degree in Politics from Newcastle University

After graduating from Newcastle University in 1999 with a degree in Politics, Claire began her career in the motorsport
industry when she joined Silverstone Circuit as a press officer in 2000.

Growing up in the sport, it is perhaps unsurprising that Claire would eventually enter the family business. Working in
the Race Office during school holidays, Claire was a regular behind the scenes at Williams from an early age before
joining the team full time in 2002 in the role of Communications Officer. She was promoted to the role of Head of
Communications in 2010, and was duly responsible for all internal and external communications surrounding
Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC.

After Williams floated on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in March 2011, Claire took on the position of Head of Investor
Relations to supplement her role in the communications team.

On the 1st April 2012 Claire was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications, and took a place on the
company board. In this role Claire has taken the lead on partner acquisitions, marketing and communications.
In March 2013, Claire stepped up to the position of Deputy Team Principal for the Williams F1 Team. In this role Claire
will work alongside Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams to play a pivotal role in the day to day running and
long term development of the race team.

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