Sir Frank Williams dead: Former Williams F1 chief and founder dies aged 79

Sir Frank Williams, the founder and former chief of Williams F1, has died, aged 79.

Williams was admitted to hospital on Friday and passed away on Sunday morning.

In a statement, Williams 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.

Sir Frank Williams dead: Former Williams F1 chief and founder dies aged 79
© AFP via Getty Images Williams in the pits during a practice session in Barcelona in May 2013

“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.”

Williams founded Frank Williams Racing Cars in 1966 after a brief career as a driver and a mechanic.

In 1977, he announced the formation of Williams Grand Prix Engineering, which still compete in F1.

Sir Frank Williams dead: Former Williams F1 chief and founder dies aged 79
© AFP via Getty Images Williams at Monza in September 2009

He acted as the team’s principal from its formation until September 2020.

Williams met wife Virginia Berry in 1967, and they married seven years later, remaining together until her death in 2013.

They had two sons, Jonathan and Jamie, and a daughter, Claire, who went on to become deputy team principal of Williams.

Williams used a wheelchair since a car accident in France in March 1968, which left him tetraplegic.

He was made a CBE in 1986 and received a knighthood in 1999.

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