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Sir Frank Williams: F1 crew founder dies aged 79 | Autocar

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Sir Frank Williams, founding father of the eponymous Components 1 crew that has gained a number of drivers’ and constructors’ world championships, has died on the age of 79. 

In an official assertion issued on behalf of his household, Williams Racing stated he was admitted to hospital on Friday and “handed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his household”. 

“Immediately we pay tribute to our a lot cherished and inspiration figurehead,” it continued. “Frank will likely be sorely missed. We request that each one buddies and colleagues respect the Williams household’s needs for privateness presently”.

Born in South Shields in 1942, Sir Frank tried racing and served as a mechanic earlier than founding his first crew, Frank Williams Racing Vehicles, in 1966, working vehicles in Components 2 and Components 3. In 1969, the crew began competing in Components 1, with Williams’s pal Piers Braveness driving a buyer Brabham chassis. The crew loved early success, with Braveness ending second in Monaco and on the US GP.

The crew partnered with Italian constructor De Tomaso for 1970, however struggled with an uncompetitive chassis. Williams was then rocked after Braveness was killed in an accident throughout that yr’s Dutch GP. The partnership with De Tomaso was quickly dissolved, and the crew later ran a wide range of chassis with restricted outcomes. In 1974, the outfit ran two closely reworked Iso-Marlboro IR chassis that have been redesignated the FW because the squad grew to become a constructor for the primary time.

Outcomes continued to be onerous to return by, even after younger engineer Patrick Head joined, and forward of the 1976 season Canadian tycoon Walter Wolf purchased a controlling stake within the crew. Sir Frank was later eliminated as crew supervisor, and left the squad.

However Sit Frank was decided to seek out success in F1, and for 1977 shaped Williams Grand Prix Engineering in partnership with Head. After a yr working March chassis, the introduction of the Head-developed FW06 for 1978 instantly improved outcomes, with Clay Reggazoni taking the squad’s first win within the following yr’s British GP. A one-two adopted within the subsequent spherical at Hockenheim.

Alan Jones then claimed the primary of Williams’ seven world drivers’ championships in 1980, signalling the rise of the crew to turn into one of the vital dominant forces within the sport. Amazingly, all seven of the crew’s titles have been claimed by completely different drivers, with Jones joined by Keke Rosberg (1982), Nelson Piquet (1987), Nigel Mansell (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997).

The crew’s golden period got here within the Nineties, when the crew had potent works Renault engines and vehicles designed by aerodynamic ace Adrian Newey. Mansell’s 1992 title victory got here with the FW14B, which is remembered as one of the vital refined vehicles within the historical past of the game with floor impact and a raft of driver aids.


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