It was announced yesterday that Claire Williams has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours in recognition of her services to F1.
Williams, the daughter of team principal Sir Frank, took over the day-to-day running of the family team in 2013 having previously been head of communications. Under her time in charge Williams switched to Mercedes power in 2014 and has finished third in the constructors’ championship for the past two seasons.
In an interview with the media yesterday, Williams admitted the honour came out of the blue. Williams said the following:-
‘Today is a very proud day for me, but this is also a bit of a surprise. To be recognised in this way is a tremendous honour but one everyone at Williams can take credit for. I’m extremely lucky that I get to do a job that I love. To be able to play a role in a family legacy is an enormous privilege and one I don’t take for granted.
‘Formula One, and Williams, are great success stories for the UK and I will continue to use my role to help showcase what a great sport Formula One is, what a brilliant platform for this country’s expertise in high class engineering it is, as well as a place that welcomes women across all of its disciplines.’
As Williams rightly says, it is a great honour for her and it is clear that she is surprised that she has been picked for this. She has been nothing but an inspiration, she is just as passionate and hard-working as anyone working in Formula One at the moment and for to be whereshe is at the moment shows that hard work, passion and commitment does pay off.
But Claire has to be proud of what she has achieved since entering the sport and becoming in my opinion a good role model for women in motorsport and will continue to aspire other women into the profession. I will honestly say that as well as Claire, you also have Susie Wolff, Maria de Villota, Danica Patrick, Alice Powell, Tatiana Calderon and a person close to my heart who is making her way through the feeder categories at the moment Alisha Rowland who are making huge progress in the profession and do inspire people along the way.
I have argued many times and especially in my Ignite Liverpool talk earlier this year that there is no clear role model or strategy for women in motorsport. But I can honestly say that Claire has to be at the moment on the leaders in this field, is doing a sterling job and is getting a solid foundation that could be used in the present and also in the near future.
All I can say overall is congratulations to Claire on this fantastic achievement