F1 Icon Sir Frank Williams Dies Aged 79

He founded the Williams Racing Formula One team in 1977, and led it to 16 world championships.

Nov 29, 2021 | By Terence Ruis
Sir Frank Williams
Image: Williams Racing Formula One

Sir Frank Williams, iconic Formula 1 team owner and boss, has died aged 79.

The news was confirmed by the Williams Racing Formula One team via a statement. “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,” the statement read.

“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.”

Williams founded the Williams Racing Formula One team in 1977, which quickly established itself against the likes of bigger teams, going on to win 16 world championships — nine constructors’ and seven drivers’ titles. The team has also amassed a total of 114 F1 race victories over the years.

What truly is remarkable, however, is the fact that Williams continued to run the F1 racing team even after a serious car accident in 1986 left him paralysed. Not one to be deterred, he pressed on with optimism. “As I see it, I have had 40 fantastic years of one sort of life,” he told his late wife Ginny after the accident. “Now I shall have another 40 years of a different kind of life.”

Williams was involved in the running of the team until 2012 when he stepped down and his daughter, Claire, took over his seat on the board of the Williams Racing Formula One team. She was appointed deputy team principal the following year, and held that position until she resigned last year. The family is no longer involved with Williams Racing Formula One team.


Tributes for Sir Frank Williams have begun pouring in from all over. Testament to William’s spirit, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali — former boss of rivals Ferarri — paid tribute to the Englishman. “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,” the Italian said in a statement.

“His incredible achievements and personality will be etched on our sport forever”.

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