Frank Williams likes the paint job on his Formula 1 team’s new cars – which is fortunate for daughter and deputy team principal Claire, who says she would have been fired if he hadn’t.
Williams have switched from their traditional navy-and-white colour scheme to sky blue and white for 2019.
It is one part of a new era for a team without a grand prix win since 2012.
“Frank loved it, and you might be surprised to hear that,” Claire said. “I was a little nervous presenting it.”
The British outfit, founded by Frank more than 40 years ago, have won a combined 16 driver and team titles but finished bottom in the constructors’ championship last season.
Williams’ new title partner, telecommunications company ROKiT, is expected to add substantial investment to a team that will begin the season with British rookie George Russell alongside Robert Kubica, who is back on the grid for the first time after a crash eight years ago.
“We are telling the world a very clear story and clear message as to where we are as a company,” added Claire, who said moving away from the team’s traditional colours shows they are a “fresh, revitalised brand”.
“Frank is very protective of the traditional navy blue and white, but also understanding of the arguments behind the change.
“He is fully behind it. I am still here, and if he didn’t like it, he would have fired me.”
Reigning Formula 2 champion Russell makes the step up to F1 with Williams this season after a year as Lewis Hamilton’s understudy at Mercedes.
“It is important to try and build a great relationship with the team and show what I can do on track as well as behind the scenes,” said the Englishman, who turns 21 on Friday.
“The help I have had from Mercedes and Lewis has been mainly listening and learning.
“Lewis goes out there to work on every aspect and really build that team around him, which is why he and Mercedes are so strong. That is what I want to do here.”