On November 28th 2021, Sir Francis Williams died at the age of 79. He was born in 1942 in South Shields, near Newcastle. His passion for fast cars began when a friend gave him a ride in a Jaguar. After a few years as a driver and a mechanic, Frank founded the Williams-Racing team in 1977 and became the team leader.
After 3 years, Williams won his first world titles, the Constructors’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship with the Australian Alan Jones who won his first and last title. In 1981 Williams fought for the World Championship with both drivers: Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann. But the title was won by Nelson Piquet with Brabham. However, between 1981 and 1997, the team won six more drivers’ championships and eight more constructors’ championships. In 1986 the two Williams drivers, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, fought against Alain Prost and Mclaren. Prost won the world championship but that year Williams won the Constructors’ Championship.
In 1986 Frank Williams had a car crash in the South of France which forced him to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. That year Queen Elizabeth II made him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and this is why he was called Sir Francis Williams.
In 1987 Williams was the best car. Williams won another world title in 1992, with Nigel Mansell beating Ayrton Senna. In 1993 Alain Prost won his fourth and last world title with the Williams. Williams proved to be the strongest car in 1993 season, beating Ayrton Senna for the second time with both drivers, but Prost retired and then Senna went to Williams in 1994. But at the third Grand Prix, in Imola, on May 1 1994, a very bad accident caused the death of Ayrton. In 1996 Williams won the World Championship with Damon Hill, who drove a very fast car. In 1997 Williams won again but with Jacques Villeneuve, son of Gilles. The 1997 season was the last title of Williams in F1. From that year Williams had just mediocre results. Now Williams-BMW is one of the best cars but it can’t be compared to Schumacher and Ferrari.
In 2014, Sir Frank Williams left the Williams racing team to his daughter Claire. The team, after the incredible decline in 2019, is currently recovering.
We obviously think that Frank was one of the best team leaders in F1 and that Williams-Racing is one of the best teams in F1. It is in our top 3. He was more than a boss: he was a friend for everyone in the big Williams family.