George Russell and Nicholas Latifi both expressed their gratitude to the Williams family after their final race in charge of the team at Monza.
Heading into the Italian Grand Prix weekend Claire Williams announced that she would be stepping down from her role as deputy team principal following the event, whilst her father and team principal Frank Williams would also be leaving the team.
The announcement came a few weeks after Dorilton Capital purchased the team, and Claire Williams has made it clear that it was the family’s choice to withdraw.
Claire Williams was treated to a bonkers Italian Grand Prix as a farewell gift, but sadly Russell and Latifi were unable to score a points finish, though Latifi at one stage was running in the top 10.
But ultimately the main focus of the race for both drivers was to give the Williams family a deserved thank you.
“It was an unfortunate race and we were unlucky not to pit before the red flag,” Russell told the Williams website.
“The car was feeling really good, we were just slow on the straight. Every time I overtook a car, they just passed me on the straight. It is a shame, because I think we could have scored points today.
“I am really happy to see the top four finishers today; it is absolutely awesome for them.
“It’s also the end of an era and it’s been a privilege to be a part of it. What Claire and Frank have done for the team, and for the people that work for the team, is extraordinary. They’ve always kept them in their hearts and that’s still the case now.”
Latifi spoke of how he has felt right at home since joining Williams and thanked Claire and Frank Williams for creating that atmosphere.
“I lucked into the position having completed the pitstop prior to the red flag. It was nice that I got to experience a top 10 starting position with the restart following the red flag,” he said.
“We are still struggling on those opening laps, with cold tyres and dirty air. It seems that the other cars can do much more, whilst I am trying not to crash and maintain the position. I am disappointed that I slipped out of the points.
“Once things settled down, I think the pace was alright and I managed to catch Kimi which was nice to have some kind of a battle. I am happy with the overall result, but it would have been nice to reward Claire and the team with some points today.
“It’s been a huge privilege to race for Claire and Frank. From the moment I joined the team I felt right at home, and it was very clear the atmosphere and culture they’ve instilled is valued. You can understand why so many of the employees’ love working for them and the team.
“I’m going to miss them, Formula One is going to miss them, and I want to wish them all the best of luck for the future wherever life takes them.”
We are Williams. Always. pic.twitter.com/BmVXu1DJkt
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) September 6, 2020
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Following her final race as deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “It has been my greatest privilege and my biggest honour to work with everybody in our incredible team.
“But more importantly from Frank, myself and everybody in the Williams family I would like to thank all of our team, past and present, for everything they have given to us over the years. They are the true warriors of this team and we wish them all the success in the world for the future.
“We would also like to thank all of our fans around the world who have supported us through thick and thin for so many years. You have humbled us. Our time in this sport has been a huge privilege, we leave with so many memories, we have been through highs and lows, triumph and adversity and will forever love Formula One.”
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