Sir Frank Williams passes away at the age of 79

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Sir Frank Williams CBE, Founder and Former Team Principal of Williams Racing, passed away at the age of 79, his former team confirmed it on Sunday evening.

In a short statement, Williams has confirmed that "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."

The team which was founded by Williams and automotive engineer Patrick Head in 1977, scored its first win with Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni at the at the 1979 British Grand Prix. The team from Grove secured its first Drivers’ Championship title with Alan Jones in 1980, and has clinched seven drivers’ titles and nine constructors’ championships in total which helped the team become one of the most successful teams in F1 history.

In May 2020, Williams announced they were seeking buyers for a portion of the team due to poor financial performance in 2019. On 21 August 2020, Williams was acquired by US invest firm Dorilton Capital.

The Williams family ended its involvement in the team shortly afterwards after Williams and his daughter Claire stepped down from their management roles on 6 September 2020, with the 2020 Italian Grand Prix being their last time in their respective positions.

Current Williams Racing CEO Jost Capito said: “His passing marks the end of an era for our team and for the sport of Formula 1. 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. Despite considerable adversity in his life, he led our team to 16 World Championships making us one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport. His values including integrity, teamwork and a fierce independence and determination, remain the core ethos of our team and are his legacy, as is the Williams family name under which we proudly race. Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this difficult time.”

F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “This morning Claire Williams called to inform me of the very sad news that her beloved father, Sir Frank Williams, had passed away.

“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 etched on our sport forever. My thoughts are with all the Williams family and friends at this sad time,” concluded Domenicali.