Claire Williams OBE
Claire Williams OBE led the Williams Formula 1 racing team until 2020, in which role she was one of only two women to head a Formula 1 team in the modern era. Under her leadership Williams finished 3rd in the World Championship for Constructors in 2014 and 2015, the team’s best performance since 2003.
Today she is a global Brand Ambassador for WAE Technologies, previously known as Williams Advanced Engineering, which focuses on the decarbonisation of heavy transport through the development of advanced, sustainable, green technologies.
Her late father, Sir Frank Williams, was the founder of the Williams Grand Prix Engineering F1 team, winning nine Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships.
Claire graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Politics in 1999 prior to starting her career as a Press Officer for Silverstone Circuit. In 2002, she joined the Williams team as Communications Officer, rising to become Head of Communications and Head of Investor Relations before being appointed Commercial Director in 2012.
When Frank Williams stepped down later that year, Claire became the Williams family representative on the company’s board. In March 2013 she became Deputy Team Principal, the de facto team leader responsible for the development and day-to- day running of the team. Sir Frank Williams retained the Team Principal title in recognition of his founding role and a lifetime of dedication to Williams Racing.
Claire has been among the most prominent and successful women in recent Formula 1 history. After taking the team to successive third places in the Constructors’ Championships in just her second and third years in charge, Claire maintained the team’s prominence with top 5 finishes in 2016 and 2017.
During her tenure, Claire was a keen advocate for greater diversity and inclusion within Williams Racing and across the sport as a whole. She acted as the catalyst to give Susie Wolff the chance to become the first female racing driver to participate in a Formula 1 race weekend since 1992.
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. In April 2023 she launched the Sir Frank Williams Academy which aims to provide life changing care for spinal cord injured people, a charitable initiative which has received support from the Williams Racing team.
Since successfully negotiating the sale of the Williams F1 team in 2020 Claire has provided consultancy services to brands entering Formula 1 and is a popular speaker at corporate events where she shares insights on leading high performing teams. She 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.