« A pioneer », « more than a boss », « a hero »: Formula 1 mourns Sir Frank Williams

He was one of the last guarantors of a distant era of Formula 1. Sir Frank Williams died on Sunday at the age of 79. The Briton had given birth in the late 60s to one of the largest stables in history, bearing his name, which has become synonymous with glory and immense respect in the paddock. Williams leaves behind a whole section of F1, decades of memories and as many personalities marked by his death.

The emotion already palpable at the time of the sale by the Williams family of the team in 2020 rebounded, increased tenfold, this Sunday. Formula 1 as a whole has expressed its grief. « A very sad news, reacted Jean Todt, boss of the International Automobile Federation, and former fierce opponent of Frank Williams when he was at the head of Ferrari. Sir Frank Williams leaves an imprint in the history of F1.« Jean Todt also underlines all that the Briton brought, him, one of the last to have set up his team from scratch, from its creation to the league titles. »He was a pioneer, an exceptional personality and an exemplary man.« 

Formula 1

Sir Frank Williams has passed away


« He was a true giant of our sport, who overcame the most difficult challenges in life and fought every day to win, on and off the track., added Stefano Domenicali, another former Ferrari, now big boss of the discipline. We are losing a loved and respected member of the F1 family, and he will be sorely missed. His incredible accomplishments and his personality will remain etched in our sport forever.« 

16 league titles

At the head of the Williams team from 1969 to 2012, before remaining on his board in the shadow of his daughter Claire, until September 2020, Frank Williams will remain as the man of a team, as much as Williams will forever remain his training. « Sir Frank was an icon, a legend of our sport, said the team’s new strongman, Jost Capito. His death marks the end of an era for our team and for all of F1. He was a pioneer and despite terrible adversities in his life, he led Williams to sixteen world championship titles: nine for the team, seven for the drivers. We are one of the most successful teams in F1. His values ​​touched on integrity, teamwork, determination and a fierce desire to remain independent. We want to perpetuate his values ​​and we are proud to run under his name.« 

His current opponents (Red Bull, Zak Brown, the boss of McLaren, Aston Martin…), the Indianapolis circuit, engine manufacturers like Honda… All hastened to convey their condolences and their homage. Perhaps the strongest belong to the drivers, those he has taken to the top, launched in F1, or even those who have had to fight against his cars. « Sir Frank was a truly wonderful man and I will always remember the laughs we shared, was moved George Russell. He was more than a boss, he was a mentor and friend to everyone who joined the Williams Racing family, and to so many others.« 

His legacy will live on forever

« He fooled us more than once. But woe to him who underestimated Sir Frank, commented Damon Hill, 1996 world champion driving a Williams Renault. He was determination and tenacity personified. He has earned his eternal rest 100 times.«  »It’s a dark day for our sport, for his part summarized Sergio Pérez. Frank Williams will always be remembered as one of the heroes of F1. »

Lewis Hamilton, who has never raced for Frank Williams but has repeatedly expressed his admiration for his compatriot, also cracked a reaction filled with respect. « Sir Frank Williams was one of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting in this sport. What he achieved is something really special. Until his last days, I know he remained a runner and a fighter at heart. His legacy will live on forever.« 

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