Formula One titan and founder of the legendary Williams Racing team, Sir Frank Williams has passed away aged 79.
A statement from Williams Racing confirmed the news, explaining that Sir Frank had been admitted to hospital on Friday. In the statement the team said that Williams had passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.
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.
For those wishing to pay tribute, we ask that donations are made in place of gifts to the Spinal Injuries Association, alternatively we would welcome flowers to be placed at the entrance of the team’s headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire. Details of the memorial service will follow in due course
Sir Frank Williams entered his fledgling racing team into Formula One in 1969, keeping the team running through incredible levels of wheeling and dealing and ingenuity. It was the first sign of the determination that enabled Sir Frank to become one of the most important and influential figures in the history of the sport.
The first incarnation of the team fell by the wayside in the late 1970’s owing to financial and sponsorship woes. However, not to be defeated, alongside Patrick Head, Williams created Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The team won their first in 1979 at Silverstone with Clay Regazonni at the wheel.
The team won their first Drivers and Constructors Championship’s a year later sparking a run of success which would span much of the next two decades.
Although the journey was far from plain sailing with Sir Frank suffering life changing injuries in a car crash in France in 1986. The crash left Williams in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Sir Frank Williams stepped down from the Williams board in 2012, although he remained as Team Principle, celebrating 50 years as a team boss in 2019.
The Williams family sold Williams Racing in 2020 to Dorilton Capital.
The team that Sir Frank created alongside Sir Patrick Head remains in F1 to this day and stands as the third most successful outfit in the sport’s history with nine Constructors’ and seven Driver Titles.
Everyone at Hooked On Sport would like to send their condolences to the Williams family.