Frank Williams appointes daughter Claire as deputy

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Williams founder Frank Williams has appointed his daughter Claire as the new deputy team principal.

The pair will work together on the day-to-day running of the team and its long-term development.

The team originally planned to announce the change before the start of the new season, but postponed it following the death of Frank’s wife Virginia. Technical director Mike Coughlan was acting deputy team principal during the first two races.

“Over the past decade Claire has worked tirelessly for Williams. Her knowledge of the sport and passion for the team is unquestionable and I’m proud to say that during her time here she has proven herself to be one of our most valuable assets,” said the team founder, adding he knows “Williams is in extremely safe hands”.

“I understand the commitment that every person within the team gives each day to see our car out on the track and I am determined to see us back at the top,” said his daughter.

“It has been a sad month for my family and Williams as a company following the death of my mother,” she added, “but as the season takes hold we must look to the future.”

Williams have had a disappointing start to the season on the track as well, with neither Pastor Maldonado nor Valtteri Bottas scoring in the first two races.

In a Twitter Q&A shortly after the news was announced Williams said her target is for the team to beat last year’s championship position of eighth and score regular top ten finishes.

She added the greatest challenge her team and its rivals face at present is generating income:

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018