Sir Frank Williams steps down from the Williams team board

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer

Sir Frank Williams is to step down from the board of the Williams team he set up and has run for the last 35 years.

He remains as team principal, but described the move as "the next stage in the gradual but inevitable process of handing over the reins".

It is a seminal moment for Williams, who also lost co-founder Patrick Head as a board member at the end of 2011, when he quit the sport.

Williams said that he would continue to attend board meetings as an observer.

He will remain a 51% shareholder in the team, but he will be 70 in April and has decided that it is the right time to step back from the hands-on running of the company.

He insisted that the move, which will take place at the end of March, was "not as dramatic as it may appear".

His daughter Claire will represent the Williams family on the board after being promoted to director of marketing and communications.

"It is no secret that Claire is my daughter," said Williams. "But I am proud to say that she has fought hard to earn this appointment.

"And, of all the battles she has had to fight, the prejudices of her father were not the least challenging.

"I am proud and delighted that the board has given her this opportunity."