Sir Frank Williams Dies Aged 79

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Williams F1 founder, Sir Frank Williams has died at the age of 79.

Williams founded his current race team in 1977 after previously failing to achieve success with his own outfit – Frank Williams Race Cars and the team has gone on to record 114 victories from 313 podiums in 764 race starts in F1 as well as produce nine constructor titles and seven driver champions.

Following a decade of struggle, Williams sold his team to Dorilton Capital in Summer 2020 and he alongside his family stood down from their involvement in the team after 2020 Italian Grand Prix, although Sir Frank had reduced his workload since 2012 despite retaining the title of Team Principal.

Sir Frank even continued in his role despite suffering a car accident in March 1986 which left him wheelchair bound.

Williams announced the news of Sir Frank’s passing in a statement which read: “It is with great sadness that on behalf of the Williams family, the team can confirm the death of Sir Frank Williams CBE, Founder and Former Team Principal of Williams Racing, at the age of 79.

“After being admitted into hospital on Friday, Sir Frank, passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family.

“Today we pay tribute to our much loved and inspirational figurehead. Frank will be sorely missed. We request that all friends and colleagues respect the Williams family’s wishes for privacy at this time.”

F1 President and CEO, Stefano Domenicali paid his own tribute in which he said: “He was a true giant of our sport that overcame the most difficult of challenges in life and battled every day to win on and off the track.

“We have lost a much loved and respected member of the F1 family and he will be hugely missed.

“His incredible achievements and personality will be etched on our sport forever. My thoughts are with all the Williams family and friends at this sad time.”

Current Williams driver, George Russell quickly took to Twitter to pay tribute to one of F1’s iconic Team Principals, hailing him as ‘more than a boss’, as he tweeted:

Russell’s teammate, Nicholas Latifi meanwhile described Sir Frank’s death as ‘a huge loss’ for F1 as he tweeted his own tribute.

Current Williams Team Principal, Jost Capito meanwhile hailed Sir Frank as ‘a legend and icon’ of motorsport who was “a true pioneer” and has vowed to ensure that his core values of; “integrity, teamwork and a fierce independence and determination,” remain part of the team’s ethics moving forward.

FIA President and ex Ferrari boss, Jean Todt paid his own personal tribute as he described Williams as ‘a pioneer, an exceptional personality and an exemplary man.’

 

‘He adored F1, we adored him.’

Further tributes quickly flooded in from across the motorsport world with Sky F1 commentator, David Croft and Williams’ Reserve Driver, Jack Aitken amongst those paying tributes.

Ferrari meanwhile paid their own tribute to a legend who they will consider as ‘an example to look up to’ and praised ‘his incredible inner strength’ to carry on as Team Principal, despite being wheelchair bound since 1986.

McLaren meanwhile released an official team tribute statement which said: ‘All at McLaren pay tribute to Sir Frank Williams.

‘He was a true racer that embodied passion, ingenuity and commitment. Through immeasurable adversity, Sir Frank created a formidable team and a fearsome competitor.

‘The Williams name will be etched in Formula 1 history and his loss will be felt by everyone in Formula 1 and well beyond.

‘We send our condolences to his family and all who knew and worked with him.’

AlphaTauri posted a beautiful tribute tweet which simply expressed their thoughts and iterated that Williams’ legacy and various contributions to motorsport won’t be forgotten.

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