Frank Williams Academy launched in memory of F1 legend

Frank Williams ran his team until 2013, when he handed over day-to-day operations to his daughter, Claire. David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Martini

Claire Williams has launched a new charitable initiative in memory of her father, legendary team boss Frank Williams.

He was the founder of the team which still shares his name and remains one of F1's most successful team bosses, overseeing seven drivers' championships and nine constructors' championships.

Williams, who died in 2021, spent much of his life in a wheelchair as a tetraplegic after a 1986 car accident.

His daughter this week unveiled the Frank Williams Academy, run by the UK's Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), which aims to raise £1.5 million to establish itself in the early years of its existence.

The Academy, which will feature as a logo on the Williams car, wants to educate and train both those affected by spinal chord injuries and health care professionals working with those people.

Speaking at the launch event, Claire Williams said: "My father lived the most extraordinary life, not least as one of the most successful Team Principals in the history of the sport and doing so from a wheelchair as a tetraplegic for the greater part of it.

"His tenacity in the face of this adversity was just one of the many things that made him such an inspiration to many while he was alive.

"Following his death, I wanted to do something to continue that legacy, and the Frank Williams Academy couldn't be a more fitting tribute. The work that the Academy will do will provide potentially life changing care for spinal cord injured people, just as the SIA did for my dad. With that support, the bounds of possibility are endless."

Frank Williams ran his team until 2013, when he handed over day-to-day operations to Claire.

His daughter was in charge of the team until it was sold to American firm Dorilton Capital in 2021, where it severed ties with the team, although it retains a good relationship.