THIS weekend’s Italian Grand Prix promises to be emotional for Williams.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams will step down after the race following last month’s takeover by US investment firm Dorilton Capital.

It means the Grove-based constructor, founded by Williams’ father, Sir Frank, and Sir Patrick Head in 1977, will not be owned by the family for the first time in its 43-year history.

The iconic Monza circuit provides a fitting backdrop to the end of an era, but the deputy team principal is already looking ahead to a new chapter.

She said: “My family has always put our racing team and our people first and this was absolutely the right decision.

“I know in them we have found the right people to take Williams back to the front of the grid, while also preserving the Williams legacy.

“I have taken the decision to step away from the team in order to allow Dorilton a fresh start as the new owners.

“It has not been an easy decision, but it’s one I believe to be right for all involved.

“I have been enormously privileged to have grown up in this team and in the wonderful world that is Formula 1.”

Williams are still without a point this season, but Renault arrive at the fastest track on the Formula 1 calendar brimming with confidence.

The team picked up 23 points at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo picking up an extra point for setting the fastest lap on his way to finishing fourth.

The Australian said: “Monza is one of my favourite tracks.

“It’s probably not typical for my style as I love street circuits with walls and the close shaves.

“But Monza is high-speed and a lot of fun, especially with the low downforce as the car skates around.”

Esteban Ocon crossed the line one place behind his teammate and the Frenchman is in similarly confident mood.

He said: “Our performance in Spa shows we’re capable of some good things and the similar track characteristics means we should be in a good position to get strong points.”

Renault’s haul in Belgium put them within touching distance of

third-placed McLaren, who are just nine points ahead in the constructors’ championship.

Banbury’s Haas were unable to add to their single point of 2020 in Belgium and team principal Guenther Steiner is resigned to another tough weekend.

He said: “You need to have a target, but it needs to be realistic.

“There’s no point dreaming about getting into Q3.

“If we can get out of Q1, especially on high speed tracks like Spa and Monza, that’s good.

“We’ll fight hard but we know we’ve got one arm tied behind our back.”