Williams F1 team racing to honour Sir Frank in Saudi Arabia

It will be just a week since the passing of Sir Frank Williams when his famous team takes to the grid in Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The sadness of losing one of F1’s great team founders and principals will be felt across the paddock but there will also be a sense of joy in celebrating the achievements of the great man in the best way possible, racing under the lights and doing what he loved best.

“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,” commented Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance.

“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.”

The venue for the weekend’s race will be a new experience for all teams involved under the lights of the temporary Jeddah Corniche Circuit and it should represent an interesting challenge, the track featuring the most corners on the 2021 calendar and being F1’s fastest ever street circuit, with speeds set to average near 252km/h.

“We will need to see how much grip the newly laid surface offers, but the natural layout of the corners means that it is very much a high-speed circuit, which should flow nicely and encourage some fascinating racing,” adds Robson.

“With each lap in excess of 6km, the drivers won’t get too many attempts at each corner sequence prior to qualifying and this will add to the pressure and should help deliver an exciting session in which the most adaptable and instinctive drivers should excel.”

For driver George Russell, he will want to sign off in the best possible style in the remaining two races before he leaves the team that gave him his big F1 break and heads off to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

“It’s with a great sadness that we head to Saudi Arabia this weekend following the passing of Sir Frank, but as a team we are determined to pay our respects and honour him in the way we know he would want us to; by racing,” said Russell.

“On track, I am looking forward to getting my first look at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. It is sure to be an exhilarating track to drive with its high-speed nature and, when you couple that with the fact it’s a street circuit and the walls will be close, I’m sure it will be a thrilling spectacle both inside and outside the car.

“As we head into this final double-header of the season, our full focus as a team remains on consolidating our position in the Constructors’ Championship and we will be giving it absolutely everything to do so.”

Motorsport Technology