Sir Frank Williams CBE founder of Williams Formula One (F1) team dies at 79

Sir Frank Williams Death: Sir Francis Williams CBE, 79-year-old, a British businessman, racing car driver, and the founder of the Williams Formula One team passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2021. He was the team principal from its foundation in 1977 until 2020, during which period the team won nine constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ championships.

Born Sir Francis Owen Garbett Williams on April 16, 1942, in South Shields, South Tyneside, England. His father was a Royal Air Force officer and his mother was a teacher. He attended a private boarding school at St Joseph’s College, Dumfries, Scotland. A friend gave Williams a ride in his Jaguar XK150, in the late 1950s, where he pick an interest in fast cars. He founded Frank Williams Racing Cars in 1966, after a brief career as a driver and mechanic, funded by his work as a traveling grocery salesman. He purchased a Brabham Formula One chassis, which Courage drove throughout the 1969 Formula One season, twice finishing in second place. In 1967 he met Virginia Berry and they got married in 1974. They had two sons, Jonathan and Jamie, and a daughter, Claire, who later became the deputy team principal of his future Formula One team Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

On 8 March 1986, he was involved in a car accident in the South of France, which rendered him tetraplegic and since then he was using a wheelchair. In 1986, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, 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. He also received the Wheatcroft Trophy in 2008, in recognition of his significant contributions to motorsports. He was also awarded the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in 2010. He was added to the Motor Sports Hall of Fame as a member in 2011. In 2012, a new road in Didcot, Oxfordshire, was named “Sir Frank Williams Avenue.”

Williams Racing @WilliamsRacing in a statement on Sunday, November 28, 2021, announced the passing of their founder, which they described as a Legend and icon.

Sir Frank Williams’s obituary and memorial service will be organized by the family

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