Domenicali pays respect to ‘true giant’ of F1 Sir Frank

Jamie Woodhouse
Sir Frank Williams in the Williams garage. Germany, July 2012.

Sir Frank Williams, founder of the Williams team, watching on from the garage. Germany, July 2012.

Following Sir Frank Williams’ passing, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali paid tribute, saying his influence will remain with the series forever.

Sir Frank, co-founder of the Williams outfit alongside Patrick Head, served as team principal from 1977 to 2020, overseeing operations as the team claimed nine Constructors’ Championships, seven Drivers’ titles and 114 race victories in that time.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Williams team announced that Sir Frank had “passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family” after he was admitted into hospital.

Domenicali was team principal of Ferrari at the time that Sir Frank was in control of Williams, and now leading Formula 1, Domenicali paid tribute to a “true giant” of the sport in Sir Frank, having been informed personally of the news by Claire.

“This morning Claire Williams called to inform me of the very sad news that her beloved father, Sir Frank Williams, had passed away,” said Domenicali.

“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.”


In 2012 Sir Frank would relinquish his place on the Williams board as he set about reducing his workload, allowing his daughter Claire to take over as the family representative, before she then took over day-to-day operations of the team as deputy team principal in 2013.

The Williams family sold the team to Dorilton Capital, an American investment firm, midway through 2020, allowing them to cease involvement with the team after the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

Sir Frank’s Williams outfit will forever be associated with some of Formula 1’s greatest drivers and most iconic cars, with the likes of Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna among the legends to have represented the team.

Williams was also the birthplace for the Formula 1 careers of 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, 2009 champ Jenson Button, 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg, 13-time race winner David Coulthard and current 10-time race winner Valtteri Bottas.


Sir Frank Williams passes away aged 79

Formula 1 has reacted to the news that iconic team owner Sir Frank Williams has died at the age of 79.