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F1 Owes Its Success to Men Like Frank Williams, Says Bernie Ecclestone

Former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone paid tribute to the late Frank Williams as a pioneer who helped to construct the fashionable sport and with out whom it might need ceased to exist.

Williams, who had been quadriplegic since a 1986 automobile accident in France, died on Sunday aged 79, his household stated in an announcement.

The eponymous workforce he based, nonetheless the second most profitable when it comes to constructors’ championships and third oldest, was offered to U.S.-based Dorilton Capital final yr.

Williams got here from an period the place title-winning groups have been run by their founders, males resembling Enzo Ferrari, Ken Tyrrell and Lotus boss Colin Chapman who’re all lengthy gone.

“Without those type of people I doubt whether Formula One would have still been going now. Probably Ferrari would have stopped and that would have been it,” Ecclestone, 91, advised Reuters.

“There’s not lots of the old-timers floating round now — those who have been with the groups after they began.

“You might purchase an engine and a gearbox (in these days). You didn’t must have multi, multi-billions and have 1,000 individuals working for you.”

Ecclestone, who took over and ran the Brabham workforce within the early 1970s, recalled Williams as an outdated good friend who bought over life’s monetary and bodily obstacles with appeal and dedication.

“Frank was a little bit special as a person. And that sort of showed in the way he kept going,” he stated.

“Things were never really bad as far as Frank was concerned, he never complained about things. He got on with things the best way he could. And that’s the reason he was so successful. He was a racer through and through.”

Ecclestone recalled the obsessive bodily health fanatic who earlier than his accident would run for miles earlier than dinner but in addition confirmed a eager eye for fashion.

“He was always ahead of the game. He knew about cashmere sweaters when I’d never heard of cashmere. That was Frank,” stated the British billionaire.

“He’d say to me ‘Could you lend me 2,000 pounds’. And I’d say sure. And he’d say ‘I’ll pay you in 10 days’. As positive as something, Frank would return in 10 days with 2,000 kilos.

“He’d discuss no matter after which simply earlier than he went he’d say ‘I wonder if you could help me? Do you think you could lend me 2,500 pounds? I’ll pay you again in 10 days.’ And that’s how we labored with Frank. I’d belief him with my life.”

Ecclestone additionally recalled sitting in hospital, after Williams had been flown again from France to London, with Formula One physician Professor Sid Watkins.

“I stated ‘How long’s this going to final?’ and he (Watkins) stated ‘I think he’ll be right here for six months trying on the ceiling’. I stated ‘Is he going to survive all this?’ and he stated ‘I don’t assume so’. And Sid actually knew (the science).

“As regular Frank proved everybody incorrect. They don’t develop them like Frank any extra”.

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