Monza (Italy) (AFP)

For the Williams team as for the F1, a page turned definitively on Sunday at Monza with the last participation in a Grand Prix of the British team under his family management.

Claire Williams, the "team principal" and daughter of the team's founder, Sir Frank Williams, 78, took over after the Grand Prix.

The two single-seaters from the Didcot team, driven by the Canadian Nicholas Latifi and the Briton George Russell, finished in 11th and 14th places.

Williams has yet to score a championship run after eight innings this season.

"It's a very sad weekend but it's the right decision and the right time to go. We wish the new owners good luck," said Claire Williams, 44, as new owner the fund American investment Dorilton Capital, will take the reins of the team founded in 1977 on Monday.

Claire Williams, to whom her drivers paid tribute by crossing the finish line, explained that she had made this decision on her own and in the best interests of the team founded by her father.

The latter, paraplegic since a road accident in 1986, rarely comes to the circuits and no longer has an executive role within the team.

Under her leadership, Williams F1 was a seven-time world champion for drivers, thanks in particular to Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill, and 9 times world champion for manufacturers between 1980 and 1997.

- "Pay my debts" -

Tributes have not failed to Monza to greet this turning point in the history of the British team.

“Williams is a big name, an important family for our sport and so it's sad, but it's also important to know that Williams's name is going to stay in F1 in the future because it is really part of its history. At Ferrari, we remember our great battles, "said Mattia Binotto, the sporting director of the Italian Scuderia.

Toto Wolff, now responsible for Mercedes F1, began his F1 career at Williams, where he was a shareholder for a time.

"They were the starting point of my own Formula 1 career. I remember the first sentence Frank Williams said to me when I arrived in 2009: + someone told me you could help pay my debts! + "

Because Williams has only exceptionally had the financial means of F1 behemoths attached to large industrial groups.

Frank Williams has remained famous for his talent for "chasing" sponsors, especially Saudi Arabians in the early 1980s, but also for his avarice and his desire to keep costs as low as possible.

With F1 getting more and more expensive, however, he couldn't keep up with cost inflation and it was a long decline that his daughter had to face before she bowed out on Sunday.

© 2020 AFP