Williams told herself "little lies" to overcome emotional F1 exit
Claire Williams has revealed to telling herself "little lies" in order to overcome the emotional heartache of leaving the team's factory in Grove for the final time.
In September last year, the Williams family departed F1 after 43 years in the sport, selling to American investment company Dorilton Capital.
Former deputy team principal Williams has opened up on the final days after the last of the team's 739 races in Italy at Monza, and on clearing out her desk and that of her father Sir Frank at the factory.
Asked in an interview with this writer for an article with The New York Times whether it was emotional, Williams replied: "Yes, it was. Clearly, my office was weird and it felt quite surreal.
"I suppose the whole Monza week ended, but then going around and saying goodbye to people felt horrible.
"It was very emotional, particularly with people that I've known for a really long time because they're your family and they're the people you spend most of your time with.
"It was quite an upheaval and leaving the place as well. I always thought of Williams HQ Grove as my second home, and so leaving that was really sad.
"I had to go back a few times subsequent to that, to sort all my dad's stuff out and move him out.
"I think the only saving grace, if you'd call it that, was the fact that there were so few people in the factory [due to homeworking].
"I'd go up to my office, which was on the top floor, and no one was there. I think if people had been there, it would've been a whole lot harder because it would have felt so much more that the business was still going."
With a chuckle, Williams added: "I could almost say in my head to myself, 'Well, don't want to stay here, it's stopped. It's all over'. I told myself some little lies just to be able to get through it."
As to the particular nature of those 'little lies', Williams revealed: "It's like 'Williams is gone. It's done'.
"It was easy to do because no one was in the building, apart from some people downstairs in manufacturing, but then going down and seeing those guys, that was tough to say goodbye."
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