Legendary F1 team boss Sir Frank Williams dies, aged 79
Sir Frank Williams – the longest-serving Team Principal Formula 1 has ever seen – has died at the age of 79.
Sir Frank marked 50 years as an F1 team boss in 2019, having run two teams in that time, the latter of which went on to win seven drivers’ titles and nine constructors’ championships.
The Briton and his family, including daughter Claire who had run the team on a day-to-day basis since 2013, left F1 earlier this year after they sold the team to investment firm Dorilton Capital.
Sir Frank, who sustained a spinal cord injury in a car crash in 1986 that rendered him unable to walk, began reducing his workload in F1 in 2012, when he stepped down from the Williams board.
Claire took over as the family representative and was later appointed Deputy Team Principal looking after the day-to-day running – however Sir Frank retained the Team Principal title.
He spent some time in hospital in 2016 recovering from pneumonia and subsequently stopped travelling to races. He was also admitted to hospital in December last year.
Following the news of Sir Frank’s death, a statement from Williams said: “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 said: “This morning Claire Williams called to inform me of the very sad news that her beloved father, Sir Frank Williams, had passed away.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Williams’ current CEO and Team Principal Jost Capito also paid tribute to the team’s founder, saying: “The Williams Racing team is truly saddened by the passing of our founder Sir Frank Williams.
“Sir Frank was a legend and icon of our sport. His passing marks the end of an era for our team and for the sport of Formula 1. He was one of a kind and a true pioneer. Despite considerable adversity in his life, he led our team to 16 World Championships, making us one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport.
“His values including integrity, teamwork and a fierce independence and determination, remain the core ethos of our team and are his legacy, as is the Williams family name under which we proudly race. Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this difficult time.”
Sir Frank Williams: 1942-2021