Williams names Simon Roberts as acting F1 team principal – F1

The Williams Formula 1 team has named Simon Roberts as acting team principal for its “transition period” after the Williams family stood down following the Italian Grand Prix.

Last week it was announced that Claire Williams would step down from her role as deputy team principal after the Monza race, marking the departure of the Williams family following the team’s sale to American investment fund Dorilton Capital.

With a tight turnaround to the next F1 race this weekend, the Tuscan GP at Mugello, Williams has announced Roberts will become acting team principal starting from this weekend.

It remains unclear how long Roberts will hold the position, but the team has confirmed he will keep the role “during this transitional period” following the overhaul of senior management personnel at Williams.

Gallery: The Williams family bows out of Formula 1

Outgoing CEO Mike O’Driscoll, who had been with the team since 2011, announced his intention to retire earlier today.

Roberts joined the team earlier this year as managing director of its F1 operations having previously been McLaren’s long-time operations chief and previously. Roberts, who also had a short spell on secondment at Force India in 2009, started his initial role at the beginning of June.

“I am delighted to be announced as Acting Team Principal for Williams during this transitional period,” Roberts said.

“It is an exciting time ahead for the team, a new era for Williams and one that I am excited to be playing a part in. I look forward to the challenge ahead as we look to take the team back to the front of the grid.”

Last week Williams announced a new board of directors, featuring Dorilton founders Matthew Savage and Darren Fultz, as well as former racing driver James Matthews.

For the first time in the team’s history it will no longer be overseen by a member of the Williams family, following the departure of founder Sir Frank Williams and deputy team principal Claire Williams.

Claire Williams had been offered the chance to stay on at the team, but felt it was the “right choice” to leave during the transition period under the new ownership.

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