I no longer have the energy to run Williams now its not ours - Claire Williams
Claire Williams has revealed she was twice asked to stay on by new Williams owners Dorilton Capital but declined believing she did not have the energy to continue with her family no longer in charge.
Deputy team principal Williams and her father Sir Frank will bow out of Formula 1 following this weekend's Italian Grand Prix after 43 years of ownership, leaving the team in the hands of a US-based investment company.
Williams is adamant she gave her all in a bid to turn around the team's fortunes but feels the time is now right to call it a day.
"Anyone can hope to understand that for me, working for somebody else would be potentially enormously difficult," said Williams in an interview with Sky Sports F1.
"I've run this team as my team for seven years and you put blood, sweat and tears into something like I have, for the time that I have, the sacrifices, doing what I've done, this is a hard, hard business.
"I've given it my all, and I've done that because I wanted to protect my family's legacy in this sport. I've done it because I'm my dad's daughter, and I felt almost it was my duty to do it, so to speak.
"Now that it's not ours, I don't feel I could put the same amount of energy into it."
Proclaiming the past few years "have been incredibly tough", she added: "They've taken an awful lot out of me.
"If I'm honest, Dorilton needs somebody that has more energy than I've currently got, somebody that is going to put in more than I can currently give it to take forward it.
"They're going to put in as much as they can into it, and they're going to want somebody that can take that and really drive it forward, and I don't think that I'm that person.
"I've always been very honest about my capabilities etcetera in this sport, and I always thought I would know when the time would be for me to hang up my boots, so to speak, and that does feel like now.
"Dorilton wanted me, they asked me to continue. They asked before the sale was done, they asked after the sale was done, but I think a clean break is probably best all around."
Williams at least feels she can now focus on other priorities in her life that have been sidelined, in some respects.
"It's a bit like ripping a plaster off," said Williams. "You can imagine how hard this decision has been. I wanted to achieve so much more in this sport. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened for me.
"But I can go out of it knowing that I've done a few good things in this job. I haven't got everything right, by all means, but I can go out, I think, hopefully with my head held up high, and I can see what else is out in the big wide world.
"Most importantly for me, I can concentrate on being a wife and a mum for a bit, which I haven't done."
Hardly surprising; she should have stepped aside about three years ago. Williams needs new blood. New direction. New energy. I am glad they are keeping the name and I hope they find a way for Frank to have some kind of role.
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