F1 pays tribute to ‘a true giant’ in Sir Frank Williams

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F1 pays tribute to ‘a true giant’ in Sir Frank Williams

Formula 1

F1 pays tribute to ‘a true giant’ in Sir Frank Williams

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Tributes have been paid by the motorsport world to “a true giant” in Sir Frank Williams, following his death at the age of 79.

Sir Frank spent more than 50 years as a Formula 1 team principal — across two teams — and was a co-founder of the Williams team that is second only to Ferrari in terms of constructors’ championships and fourth in overall victories. Sir Frank only sold the team last year but after news of his passing on Sunday morning, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says he will forever be a part of the sport.

“This morning Claire Williams called to inform me of the very sad news that her beloved father, Sir Frank Williams, had passed away,” Domenicali said. “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. His incredible achievements and personality will be with etched on our sport forever. My thoughts are with all the Williams family and their friends at this sad time.”

Current Williams driver George Russell posted a tribute on Twitter, having been handed his first opportunity to race in F1 by the team.

“Today, we say goodbye to the man who defined our team,” Russell wrote. “Sir Frank was such a genuinely wonderful human being and I’ll always remember the laughs we shared. He was more than a boss, he was a mentor and a friend to everybody who joined the Williams Racing family and so many others.

“It has been a genuine honor racing for him and being a small part of the incredible legacy he leaves behind, a legacy that will forever live on in the heart and soul of this team. Rest in peace, Sir Frank. Thank you for everything.”

FIA president Jean Todt also shared his condolences on Twitter, having competed against Williams as the team principal of Ferrari.

“Very sad news,” Todt wrote in response to the Williams statement. “Sir Frank Williams leaves a lasting impression on the history of F1. He was a pioneer, an exceptional personality and an exemplary man. On behalf of the entire FIA community, our thoughts are with his family, friends and Williams Racing. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Another tribute came from McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, who highlighted Williams’ personal characteristics after overcoming a car accident that left him tetraplegic in 1986.

“We have lost a true hero of our sport and an inspiration for so many beyond it,” Brown wrote. “Sir Frank not only created a special F1 legacy but showed the power of human determination to overcome huge adversity. Thoughts with his family and the Williams team.”

A statement from the McLaren team added:

“All at McLaren pay tribute to Sir Frank Williams He was a true racer that embodied passion, ingenuity and commitment. Through immeasurable adversity, Sir Frank created a formidable team and a fearsome competitor. The Williams name will be etched in Formula 1 history and his loss will be felt by everyone in Formula 1 and well beyond.

“We send our condolences to his family and all who knew and worked with him.”

 

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