Tributes pour in for F1 'giant' Sir Frank Williams

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Members of the Formula 1 community at large are paying tribute to legendary team owner Sir Frank Williams who passed away on Sunday morning.

During Sir Frank's tenure at the helm of Grand Prix racing's third most successful team, Williams Racing raked in 114 Grand Prix wins, nine Constructors' championships and seven Drivers' titles.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was among the first to salute the memory of one of motorsport's most prominent figures.

"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," said the Italian.

FIA President Jean Todt also paid tribute to his former team principal rival.

"Very sad news," the Frenchman tweeted. "Sir Frank Williams leaves a lasting impression on the history of @F1. He was a pioneer, an exceptional personality & an exemplary man. On behalf of the entire @fia Community, our thoughts are with his family, friends & @WilliamsRacing. Rest in peace, my friend."

Williams driver George Russell saluted his former boss, mentor and friend.

"Today, we say goodbye to the man who defined our team," said Russell. "Sir Frank was such a genuinely wonderful human being and I’ll always remember the laughs we shared. He was more than a boss, he was a mentor and a friend to everybody who joined the Williams Racing family and so many others.

"It has been a genuine honour racing for him and being a small part of the incredible legacy he leaves behind, a legacy that will forever live on in the heart and soul of this team. Rest in peace, Sir Frank. Thank you for everything."

Former Williams PR Ann Bradshaw, once a long-standing member of the Grove-based outfit said: "My racing family has always been Williams so can’t describe my sadness at hearing of the death of Frank. My boss, friend and inspiration for many years RIP He had a smile when he was with his beloved cars and racing drivers."

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown spoke of "a true hero" lost by the sport.

"We have lost a true hero of our sport and an inspiration for so many beyond it," said Brown. "Sir Frank not only created a special F1 legacy but showed the power of human determination to overcome huge adversity. Thoughts with his family and the Williams team."

Brown's words were followed on social media by a memorial by the the McLaren team.

"All at McLaren pay tribute to Sir Frank Williams.

"He was a true racer that embodied passion, ingenuity and commitment. Through immeasurable adversity, Sir Frank created a formidable team and a fearsome competitor. The Williams name will be etched in Formula 1 history and his loss will be felt by everyone in Formula 1 and well beyond.

"We send our condolences to his family and all who knew and worked with him."

And reigning world champions Mercedes followed suit as did Red Bull Racing.

Former Williams drivers Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas also added to the heartfelt tributes.

"Very sad news...Rest in peace, Sir Frank," tweeted the 2016 F1 World champion.

"Sad news today," added Bottas. "Thank you for everything Frank. You will be missed. Rest in peace."

And seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who offered Sir Frank a hot lap around Silverstone at the British Grand Prix in 2019, also tweeted a homage.

Finally, the distinguished members of the BRDC sent their thoughts to the Williams family.

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