Formula 1 is in mourning after the sad passing of one of its truly iconic team owners, Sir Frank Williams, aged 79.
An integral figure of the F1 paddock for decades, Sir Frank built one of the most famous and dominant teams in the sport’s history from scratch, donning his surname and becoming synonymous with what it is to run a team.
From their debut in the sport in the late 70s, Williams has become one of the most recognisable cars in the field, and they’ve won multiple championships and had some of the best drivers feature for them along the way.
Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve are just some of the great drivers to have been behind the wheel of one of Sir Frank’s cars, with the team particularly dominant in the 80s and 90s.
9 Constructors’ championships and 7 Drivers’ championships have been notched by the team, to make them one of the most successful in the sport, with their last triumph coming in 1997.
Williams epitomised Sir Frank’s character as both fiercely competitive on the race track and possessing a never-say-die attitude.
A car accident in 1986, one from which he was lucky to escape with his life, left him tetraplegic but that would never prevent him from attending races for decades to come and running the team with the same zest and motivation as ever, inspiring all of those around him.
In 2012, Sir Frank stepped away from the team and was succeeded by his daughter Claire as team principal in 2013, with her in the role until 2020 at which point the team was taken over by Dorilton Capital.
A statement from Williams on Twitter read as follows:
A true great who will be sorely missed but whose contribution to Formula 1 will simply never be forgotten. RIP, Sir Frank.