The Williams F1 team dominated much of the 1980s and 1990s under his leadership and became one of the most successful in this competition, winning seven drivers ‘titles and nine constructors’ championships.
“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 manager of Williams Racing, at the age of 79,” the team said.
“After being admitted to the hospital on Friday, Sir Frank passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family.
“Today we pay tribute to our most beloved and inspiring leader. Frank will be deeply missed. We request that all friends and colleagues respect the Williams family’s wishes for privacy at this time.”
Williams suffered a spinal cord injury in a 1986 car accident that left him unable to walk.
He retired from the Williams team board in 2012 and handed the day-to-day running to his daughter Claire in 2013.
Williams and his family sold the equipment to investment firm Dorilton Capital in the last 12 months.
Williams’ current CEO and team principal, Jost Capito, paid tribute to the team’s founder.
“The Williams Racing team is truly saddened by the passing of our founder, Sir Frank Williams,” he said.
“Sir Frank was a legend and icon of our sport. 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, led our team to 16 World Championships, making us one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport.”
“Their values, including integrity, teamwork, and fierce independence and determination, remain the core spirit of our team and are their legacy, as is the Williams surname under which we proudly compete. Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this difficult time.”
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