Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Former Team Principal of Williams Racing, who marked 50 years as an F1 team boss in 2019, died at the age of 79. Williams was an iconic figure in modern day motorsport. His team won 16 world championships – nine constructors’ and seven drivers’ titles – in the 1980s and 90s, and have 114 race victories in total. “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,” F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said. “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,” Williams’ current CEO and Team Principal Jost Capito declared.
After a brief career as a driver and mechanic, Williams founded Frank Williams Racing Cars in 1966. In March 2012, Williams announced he would be stepping down from the board of Williams F1 and would be replaced by his daughter Claire Williams, although he would still remain with the team in the role of team principal. Williams was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986 and received a knighthood in 1999.He was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour by France, for his work with Renault F1’s engines. Williams also received the Wheatcroft Trophy in 2008, in recognition of his significant contributions to motorsports. He was added to the Motor Sport Hall of Fame as a member in 2011.