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Sports News

Williams waves her cars out for one last time

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Claire Williams waved the team’s cars out of the garage before Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix in a symbolic and fitting farewell as she and her family bowed out of Formula One.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - 70th Anniversary Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - August 6, 2020 Williams' Racing Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams outside the Silverstone Circuit ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix REUTERS/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

Canadian Nicholas Latifi and Britain’s George Russell were unable to provide a first point of 2020 but the former at least came close with 11th place, matching the team’s best showing in eight races.

Monza was Williams’ last race in charge of the team founded by father Frank, with new owners U.S.-based Dorilton Capital taking over.

After 43 years and 739 grands prix, an era had ended. Next week will see new management in place, even if Claire Williams will still be around at the factory as part of an organised handover.

“It has been my greatest privilege and my biggest honour to work with everybody in our incredible team,” she said in a statement.

“But more importantly from (father and team co-founder) 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.

“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.”

William are the sport’s third most successful team, with 16 titles and 114 race wins, but have not won a race since 2012.

Both drivers took to the team radio after the race to express their thanks.

“Claire and Frank, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me, for the whole team,” said Russell. “It’s going to be a shame to see you leave. We’ll really miss you.”

“Just wanted to say one last time thank you... for giving me this opportunity,” said rookie Latifi. “F1 is going to miss you. Just be sure we’ll keep pushing 100% to bring the Williams name back to where it belongs.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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