George Russell confirmed the Williams family will always hold a huge place in his heart, after Claire Williams confirmed they would be stepping away from the team.
Last month Williams confirmed that the team had been sold to American private investment firm Dorilton Capital, after the team fell into financial difficulty over the last few seasons.
Dorilton Capital have paid a reported $145 million for the team and as part of the sale they agreed to retain the Williams name as well as the FW initials on future chassis.
But, while some stability will remain, there is plenty of change afoot, with Claire Williams confirming this week that she and the rest of the Williams family will be stepping down from the board of Directors and will have no further involvement with the Grove-based outfit after the Italian Grand Prix.
Speaking to Sky Sports about the announcement from his boss, Russell said: “It’s obviously a sad moment for everybody involved in the team to see the Williams family leaving but I think it’s been a huge privilege for me to race under them.
“For me they hold a huge place in my heart because ultimately Claire and Frank gave me my first opportunity in Formula One which I’ll forever be grateful for.
“We know how much the team means to the whole family and they wouldn’t have sold it if Dolton and the investors had the best interests of the team at their heart.
“That is why it’s sad on one side but we know the future of the team is bright.”
Williams has stated that Dorilton wanted the family to retain involvement in the team, but they thought it was best to step away completely in order for the team to progress.
And, after confirming that she would be stepping down from the board and her role as Deputy Team Principal, Dorilton have confirmed a new board which includes 1994 Formula Renault UK champion James Matthews, Matthew Savage and Darren Fultz.