Williams and Formula 1 have confirmed that ‘joint tributes’ will be made to Sir Frank Williams, who sadly passed away at the weekend.
Williams spent a total of 43 years in Formula 1 after founding his privateer team, and Bernie Ecclestone went as far as to say Formula 1 in its current form may not exist at all were it not for the former team owner.
A spokesperson from Formula 1 confirmed to GPFans that they are collaborating with Williams over a way to pay tribute to the team’s founder, and the team say they will be honouring the memory of Sir Frank in Jeddah at the weekend.
“We [head to Saudi Arabia] with heavy hearts following the passing of our founder and former team principal, Sir Frank Williams at the age of 79. Sir Frank was a racer at his very core, and we will be racing in his honour this weekend, with numerous tributes planned to celebrate his extraordinary life,” said Williams’ race preview.
"Brakes hanging on okay?"
Rest in peace, Sir Frank. 💙 #F1
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 28, 2021
Williams’ current head of vehicle performance Dave Robson added that the team will continue to carry on his legacy that he left them, and try their best to race in the way he intended.
“The sad events of last weekend mean that this is our first race weekend without Sir Frank Williams as the patriarch and figurehead of the Williams organisation,” said Robson.
“Although he had only very rarely been at the track in recent years, he still had a strong presence in the garage; his passion, strength and unstinting enthusiasm providing additional motivation to those of us fortunate enough to race the cars bearing his name.
“Although an era ended last weekend, Frank’s legacy will live on and we will continue to race in the manner that he would expect, drawing upon his memory as a source of pride and inspiration.
“We send the Williams family our deepest sympathies and reassure them that we will continue to honour his legend.”
George Russell also paid tribute to the former team principal, praising his resolve for what he went through in his life and recognising the attitude he had while running his team.
“Sir Frank was an incredibly important figure,” said Russell. “Not just because of the adversity he faced, but because of the success that the team went on to achieve following his accident.
“He was somebody that so many people looked up to. He would be wheeled around the whole factory and there was this presence in the room whenever he was around.
“It motivated the team to really get on with their jobs and be so dedicated, because of the man he was.”