Sir Frank Williams, founder and former team principal of Williams Racing, has passed away at the age of 79.
Williams started the namesake marque in an empty carpet warehouse. From there, he took the team to the peak of motorsport, masterminding 114 victories, 16 titles and a legendary reputation in the paddock.
He suffered a horror car crash that injured him so badly that turning off his life support was a serious option. However, his wife refused to let the man depart early, and he rose against all the odds by continuing to live in a wheelchair and carrying on with the job he loved.
He would remain Williams team principal for 34 years, and oversaw many memorable highs and some lows. He was knighted for his services to the sport, and joined an elite club of people who were synonymous with speed and racing.
Williams had health issues, and had been dealing with them for a while. On Friday, he was admitted into a hospital, but didn’t make it.
As quoted by Time, Williams Racing announced his death in a statement, saying, “After being admitted into hospital on Friday, Sir Frank passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family.”
Rest in peace, Sir Frank
Tributes poured in from all around the world as one of motorsport’s greatest icons passed away.
Williams driver George Russell hailed Sir Frank as a “genuinely wonderful human being.”
Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone paid tribute to his dear departed friend, saying, “One wonders that, if people like Frank had not been around in the early days, whether Formula One would have survived today.
“He was one of the people that built Formula One. It’s the end of an era.”
Williams is survived by his three children. As for his legacy, that is something that will remain immortal.