Formula 1News

The founder of Williams Racing, Frank Williams has passed away aged 79

It's a sad day for the F1 community, as one of the great pioneers of the sport and the founder of one of the most independent teams has passed away.

It’s a sad day for the motorsport world and F1 in particular- Sir Frank Williams CBE has passed away aged 79, leaving behind a legacy few can ever rival. He entered the world of F1 as a team owner way back in 1966, when he set up the team “Frank Williams Racing Cars”, and his first proper foray into the world of F1 was in 1969, when he headed the team and Piers Courage was his star driver.

In 1976, a medely of financial and corporate issues saw him depart the team he had formed, though he along with trusted fellow employee and legendary Williams F1 engineering director Patrick Head set out to make a new team called Williams Grand Prix Engineering- and this is the team still in F1 to this day known as Williams.


He holds the title for being the longest-serving team principal of any F1 team to date- his career spanning over a whopping 50 years, in which he ran and had control of the aforementioned two teams. An accident in 1986 saw him become a tetraplegic, though this did not stop his cars dominating on the scene in F1. He stepped down from day-to-day duties of the F1 team in 2012 and passed the de facto control over to daughter Claire, though he held the title of Team Principal all the way until the team’s last race under the Williams family’s control at Monza 2020, from where on the control has been given to the new owners at Dorilton Capital. For him and the team, the most important race was their home race at Silverstone- something they had the pleasure of winning on multiple occasions, though most famously with Nigel Mansell in 1992!


Despite his accident and the rough start to his time in F1, the team he set up is one of F1’s most storied and successful teams- all while remaining fiercely independent, going up against and beating big-name teams like Ferrari and Renault all through the 80’s and 90’s. 16 world championships came Williams’ way, and a lot of the 90’s saw Williams dominate in a manner not too different from how Mercedes dominated the field in the past few years. Their most recent win was at the hands of Pastor Maldonado in 2012, and their most recent championship glory came at the hands of Jacques Villeneuve way back in 1997.

Williams’ last F1 win as of today. Credits:

The legacy he created will live on for years to come. He may have passed, but the Williams name will forever be synonymous with F1 fans- for it was one of the few independent teams to have achieved so much and such incredible success despite all the difficulties put in front of them.

Sir Frank Williams CBE, (1942-2021)

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Sahil D.

Love sleeping, video games and aviation, but F1 is life! I'm addicted to F1 and it's happenings, and I really love open-wheel motorsport! Feel free to check out any of my articles- I try my best to write without an element of bias, so you as the reader can form your own opinion! :)

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