Claire Williams handles F1 team without a hitch

Frank is Claire Williams’ father, and she had no idea two decades ago he would become deputy principal in the same Formula One team. She would have reacted quite differently back then, but now things are much clearer. At 36 years old, his father was paralysed from the neck down thanks to a car accident he was involved in back in the 1980s, and he spoke of it through a newswire interview recently. Meanwhile Claire spoke about the events to the press as a new stream of promotions have been pouring in as she has gained more responsibilities with her racing team.

Just a decade ago her team manager had asked that as former champion, she joined as press official, and at that time her father had not taken the news very well. Her father did not want that kind of work for his daughter, according to her interview. She said he had been quite right as well, since this position was not one with a lot of benefits, but she did what she does best and found a way out.

As she says, daughters can manage to win their fathers over thanks to persistence and Claire has been trying harder than ever to get Frank on her side. Family is very important for her and she has made a point to get this across both to her father and her team. He never would have allowed her in the job if he did not think she could do it, and that was a life lesson she applied well.

The Chinese Grand Prix last month in Shanghai saw a missing Frank as her father could not attend, but it was the fist time in history that Formula One teams were all ran by women. Williams was at the helm of her particular team, and while her father was keeping a close eye on things from back at the office, she was the leader in the field. Mike Coughlan, her technical director from India, was overseeing the technical side.

The press has caught a glimpse of the action in the mean time and gender was a prime subject for the articles written. Just a few decades ago there was no female involved anywhere in F1, now there are women at every position in Formula One. Williams only took the position after consulting her family and friends, but said that it was a worthwhile choice. Her family stuck with her through the process, and she keeps her focus on the race track.

Meanwhile Spain won the latest race last year, and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonados was the first team to win from abroad since 2004, scoring points in three different races this season. Her team finished eight overall last year but she pledges to do even better this year, thanks to her motivated crew. With her father at her side, Williams wants to get her team at the top within just a few years.