Sir Frank Williams in an icon in Formula One and a highly beloved figure on the F1 grid. He is a former racing driver and the founder of the Williams F1 team. He founded Williams F1 in 1966 along with Sir Patrick Head. No matter the current situation the team is in, it stands as among the most popular and successful teams in Formula One with 9 constructors trophy and 7 drivers championship to his name. It was in 198 that he suffered a spinal injury, which confined him to a wheelchair forever. In 2019, Sir Frank Williams celebrated 50 years of him being a team principal. To help him in the celebrations, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was roped in.
The celebrations took place in Silverstone, the home grand prix of Hamilton and the whole Williams team. Frank was made to sit in a Mercedes AMG and made to go across the Silverstone circuit being driven by Hamilton. Before they set off, deputy team principal Claire Williams jokingly told Hamilton that they need two laps to convince him to join Williams from the Mercedes. She said, “You must be bored of winning, come see what you can do in our car.”
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) July 14, 2019
Needless to say, Sir Frank had a lot of fun, as did Lewis Hamilton, who noted that the Mercedes road car had a lot less grip that his race car. Midway through the lap, Lewis Hamilton and Sir Frank realized that the brakes were shot as the car began to step out.
Finally, that single lap ended, but both occupants were in the mood for one more and they did just that. Then, Hamilton decided to switch things up by drifting into the corner, to Williams’ delight. Finally, to cap things off, the British driver ended the run with a few donuts before returning to the garage.
It was a special hot lap, unlike anything else we’ve seen before. The sheer joy on Frank Williams’ face shares how much he misses being behind one of these cars or going across the circuit. He’s less and less involved with the team now, with his daughter having taken over the operations. The current state of the team is pretty sad with the team struggling and being a league behind than the rest of the teams.