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My Secret Life: Claire Williams, 36, Williams F1 Deputy Team Principal

'I'm no good at reversing cars'
  • @charliecooper8

My parents were… inspiring. They faced both triumph and adversity with grace and dignity.

The household I grew up in… was relatively normal. But to grow up around Formula One was magical. The Williams factory was a second home for me.

When I was a child I wanted to be… a wife and mother. I never had any career aspirations – all that has happened since has been by chance not by design.

If I could change one thing about myself… it would be my obsessive-compulsive tidiness.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… Scrabble. I'm very competitive.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… reversing cars, which is slightly embarrassing.

At night I dream of… winning Grands Prix.

I wish I had never worn… pink cowboy boots at the age of five. I loved them but I am told they were hideous.

What I see when I look in the mirror… Someone who needs more sleep.

It's not fashionable but I like… John Denver. I was brought up on him.

I drive/ride… a black BMW M3. I love it, but I don't reverse it.

My house is… my sanctuary. When we travel as much as we do, walking into your house and closing the door on the world is just wonderful.

My favourite work of art… Nigel Mansell's 1992, FW14B.

My favourite building… My parents' house just outside of Hungerford.

A book that changed me… A Different Kind of Life (1991) by my mother. It was about her experience of being married to my father, helping him after his accident [Sir Frank Williams broke his neck in a car crash in 1986] and coming out the other side. We didn't know she was writing it. There was so much I didn't know about their marriage or how serious his accident had been. It changed my life and changed my relationship with them – for the better.

Movie heaven… Top Gun.

My greatest regret… Not having married or had children before my mother died, last month. She would have made a brilliant grandmother.

My secret crush… Jon Bon Jovi. He's like fine wine, he's matured.

My real-life villain… Dirt.

The person who really makes me laugh… My boyfriend, Andrew.

My five-year plan… is to play my part in getting Williams back to the top and to persuade my boyfriend to marry me.

What's the point? Everything – so you should give it all you've got as you never know when it will be taken away.

My life in six words… Tiring, hectic, but amazing and fortunate.

A life in brief

Claire Williams was born in 1976 in Windsor. She is the daughter of Williams F1 Team Principal Sir Frank Williams and his late wife, Lady Virginia Williams. After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Politics in 1999, she began her career in motor racing as press officer for the Silverstone Circuit. In 2002 she joined the family business and rose to Head of Communications by 2010. In March this year she became Williams' Deputy Team Principal. She lives in Newbury with her boyfriend, Andrew