F1 News

F1 champion Jones pays respect to 'true enthusiast' Frank Williams

F1 champion Jones pays respect to 'true enthusiast' Frank Williams

30-11-2021 10:24 Last update: 10:41
0 Comments

GPblog.com

On Sunday, Frank Williams passed away at the age of 79. Williams founded the team with the same name in 1977 and Alan Jones won the world championship for the first time in 1980. The Australian driver looks back fondly on his association with Williams. "He embodied the spirit and determination of the ultimate enthusiast," he said.

Williams both a boss and a friend

Jones drove for Williams from 1978 to 1981. He scored 11 victories and won the championship in 1980. In 1979 and 1981, Jones finished third in the championship. In an interview with Motorsport, he talks about the special bond he had with Williams. "At the end of the day, he was not only a boss but also a friend. I like to think I had a good relationship with the family."

According to Jones, it was his determination and enthusiasm for motorsport that particularly stood out. "He embodied the spirit and determination of the ultimate enthusiast," Jones says. "How he managed to go to so many Grands Prix as someone with paralysis [due to a car accident], I will never know. I think his legacy will be that you can basically do anything, as long as you set your mind to it."

Growing up with Williams and Head

Jones joined Williams early on and was able to work with Patrick Head to build the team to its first successes. "We had a great working relationship. There were three of us, Frank, Patrick and myself, and we were all the same age. It was great and the three of us grew up together. To win against established names was very satisfying."

"He was a tough teacher, but he was one hundred percent honest and I often say he's the best man I've ever driven for," says Jones who shares a great anecdote about Frank Williams. "When I didn't qualify so well at Watkins Glen, I said to Frank that I thought the engine I was using didn't have enough power. To this, he said, 'Well, we'll replace it. There's no point in me paying you all that money to drive for me and then doubting your word'. We changed the engine and I was quickest in the next session. That's the kind of guy he was."

Video player

More videos