The founder of the Williams team, which marked the history of Formula 1, passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at the age of 79; ” his death marks the end of an era ».
Sir Frank Williams passed away in hospital, marking a day of mourning for all motorsports. ” His passing marks the end of an era for our team and for Formula 1 in general. Current Williams CEO Jost Capito said. Born in 1942 in the United Kingdom, he founded the Williams team, leaving an indelible mark on his discipline. Return to a gigantic Formula 1 man, who will leave an indelible legacy there.
A man scoring with successful perseverance
Although Frank Williams participated in some local races as a hobbyist at the age of 19, he quickly turned to management: he helped his racing friends by becoming their manager, like Piers Courage. In 1966, the Briton founded Frank Williams Racing Cars Ltd, buying and selling Formula 2 and 3 chassis, before entering the main racing discipline three years later. In his first year of F1 racing, Williams ‘efforts paid off: the team was second in the constructors’ championship. In the 1970s, after several partnerships, the team was gradually acquired by a wealthy Austrian-Canadian industrialist who renamed it Walter Wolf Racing. Frank Williams resigned and founded a new team: Williams Engineering. The perseverance of this passionate car racing fan will pay off, as his team will experience long and wonderful hours of glory. In partnership with Honda, then Renault, BMW, Toyota, and finally Mercedes, Frank Williams is also known for his concern for independence; regardless of team results. He is one of the few who has never sold his equipment to a major builder. Paying tribute to him on social media, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton explains: “ what he achieved is something really special. Your legacy will last forever ».
Williams, second most successful team in constructors’ championship history
Courteous man known for his toughness with his pilots, ennobled with the title of Bachelor Knight by Queen Elizabeth II in 86, Frank Williams will be remembered above all for having founded a legendary and essential team in this sport. In 1979, with the FW07 winged car, Williams rose to the top of Formula 1, slipping behind Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. A dazzling performance followed: the team were world champions in 1980 and 1981, which will also be the case in ’86 and ’87. The Briton has witnessed the success of his team in all circumstances, even from hospital after serious injury. car accident that left him a quadriplegic. During the 1990s, Williams dominated the field, accumulating at the same time 5 titles in the drivers ‘championship and 5 in the constructors’ championship. In 1997, the team was the most successful in the history of the sport. Currently, only Ferrari will beat this record.
Many drivers who have marked Formula 1 have been successful at the wheel of a Williams: Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost or even Damon Hill. The latter will declare in the columns of the World about the founder of the team: ” All the drivers wanted to be with Williams. He was determined, intelligent and a brilliant strategist, passionate about the power of his cars. I was very lucky that he gave me the opportunity to drive for him. Focused primarily on the success of his cars, Frank Williams has often set a distance with his drivers, only two really attracted his favors: Alan Jones, the Australian who unveiled his early successes to the team, and Ayrton Senna. The legendary Formula 1 driver discovered these queen cars thanks to Frank Williams, and found him several years later. He died in a tragic accident on May 1, 1994 at the Imola circuit. After the announcement of the disappearance of the British on Sunday, November 28 , the world of motorsport is in mourning, social networks becoming the altar of a large number of tributes.
After bequeathing the management of the team to his daughter Claire, Williams was finally bought out entirely by the US investment fund Dorilton Capital in 2020. The Williams name does not leave the team, however, and the posterity of its founder is assured.
Williams Racing has 3,561 points, 9 constructors’ championship titles, 7 world champion drivers, 114 victories, 312 podiums and 128 poles.
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