Legendary Formula One Team owner Sir Frank Williams who led the Grove-based outfit to nine Constructors championships and seven drivers championships has died at the age 79 the team announced on Sunday.
Sir Frank and his daughter Claire left the team after the family sold the outfit to Darlton Capital last season and the team who struggled in recent years are enjoying a resurgence this year as with two races to go they are 8th in the championship on 23 points.
In a statement, the Williams family 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.
For those wishing to pay tribute, we ask that donations are made in place of gifts to the Spinal Injuries Association, alternatively we would welcome flowers to be placed at the entrance of the team’s headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire. Details of the memorial service will follow in due course.
CEO and Team Principal of Williams, Jost Capito said:
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.”
The world of Formula One paid tribute to Sir Frank with F1 tweeting:
We are filled with the most immense and deep sadness at the passing of Sir Frank Williams
His was a life driven by passion for motorsport; his legacy is immeasurable, and will be forever part of F1
To know him was an inspiration and privilege
He will be deeply, deeply missed pic.twitter.com/48JhruQpLK
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 28, 2021