"One wonders that if people like Frank had not been around in the early days, whether Formula One would have survived today.” So go the words of Bernie Ecclestone to PA News Agency in memory of Sir Frank Williams, the motorsports icon who passed away on Sunday, November 28 this year.
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“He was one of the people that built Formula One,” continues Ecclestone. “It’s the end of an era.” Since his passing, the tributes to the Williams Racing Formula 1 team founder have been flowing in. Lewis Hamilton wrote not just of his racing prestige, but of his humanity. “Sir Frank Williams was one of the kindest people I had the pleasure of meeting in this sport. What he achieved is something truly special. Until his last days I know he remained a racer and a fighter at heart. His legacy will live on forever.”
Considering the fact that Williams suffered an injury that left him paralyzed all the way back in 1986, it’s no overstatement for Hamilton to call him a fighter.
Just imagine the strength of spirit required from Williams to keep on pushing through physical challenges to build not just one of the world’s best known racing teams, but to help shape Formula One into the cultural behemoth it is today. Before even considering his achievements in the racing world, to simply live until the age of 79 as a tetraplegic beggars belief. A fighter.