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Ralf Schumacher calls on Frank and Claire Williams to step aside

  • Published on 03 Jun 2020 10:41
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Former grand prix driver Ralf Schumacher believes Williams can return to success in the future, but only if Frank and Claire Williams withdraw themselves from the team.

Having spent the last handful of years in decline, Williams endured a difficult 2019 campaign that saw it score one point across 21 races, unable to fight against rival teams.

Last week, it was announced that the team had been put up for sale, and that discussions have already taken place with potential investors.


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Schumacher, who spent raced six seasons in F1 from 1999 to 2004 with Williams, thinks that major change is needed at a senior level in order for progress to be made.

"It appears that neither Frank Williams or Claire were able to run the team in a modern style,” Schumacher told SpeedWeek. “I guess there's a lot wrong with the management style.

“The way should have been cleared years ago for young personnel into management. I have experienced this myself - times have just changed. The Frank Williams system has always consisted of exerting a lot of pressure from above.”

Schumacher envisions a strong future for the Grove-based squad "but only if Frank and Claire withdraw completely and a good investor comes on board”.

The German affirms that he “thinks the racing team is great” and he would get involved “right away” if he had the appropriate partners and funds.

Leading candidates to invest in the team are believed to be Michael Latifi, father of 2020 Williams driver Nicholas, and Dmitry Mazepin, who was an advanced contender for the purchase of Force India in 2018 when the team went into administration.

Williams revealed last week that loan arrangements it refinacined in April brought in £28 million, with Latifi and banking group HSBC behind the payments. 

Speaking about a potential investment at Williams from Mazepin, Schumacher said: "Mazepin is in the starting blocks and is wealthier than Latifi and Stroll. So far he has bought every team for his son [Nikita], from Formula 3 upwards.

“I cannot criticise that because I am glad that there are people who love our sport and are willing to invest so much money, even if it's for their children."

Replies (7)

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  • Harryw

    Posts: 107

    McLaren worked well. They should keep Williams name as it’s iconic.

    • + 0
    • Jun 3 2020 - 12:15
  • Yes, keep the Williams name, and maybe keep Williams on as a kinda spokesperson, but leave the management to others. They need a Brownian comeback at this stage, yet I see no Brown in their field as of yet.

    • + 1
    • Jun 3 2020 - 13:03
  • Wow, I wonder who Ralf knows who works at Williams or who has worked at Williams, as he is bang on. It's odd that people seem to have identified the issues at Williams over the past decade but still they continue on their old school "we're a race team not a multi million pound business" approach. They are a dinosaur and have failed numerous times to drag themselves in to the modern world and the modern practices that go with it! It seems that everyone except the senior management know where the problems lie.....

    • + 0
    • Jun 3 2020 - 13:19
    • Ralf is still very connected to motorsport, so I don't find it surprising at all that he might know a thing or two. He has even driven at Williams for a stint, so he know people from the team. I found THE RACE's video on the mistakes of Williams very enlightening, highly recommend it (it's on Youtube).

      • + 0
      • Jun 3 2020 - 15:51
    • Agreed. There is no chance the Williams' (really Claire) will leave voluntarily. It's a sad situation that an investor will probably be the one that pushes them out unceremoniously. It could have all been avoided if Frank swallowed up his pride and put someone capable in charge. I think it's too late now. There is no way an investor would keep Claire in charge. Frank should still be involved in some non-executive capacity. But the reins of the operation will be taking by someone else

      • + 0
      • Jun 3 2020 - 17:27
    • I dunno, she does actually seem to be pretty open on the subject this time, so who knows. Whatever the case is, I hope the Williams name remain but that new owners take over.

      • + 0
      • Jun 3 2020 - 19:55
  • Finally someone from the F1 world speaks up and says what everybody has been thinking for a long time. It's highly doubtful that Frank or Claire will go willingly.

    • + 1
    • Jun 4 2020 - 09:56

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