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Friday, January 28, 2022

F1 world champion Alan Jones hails “true fanatic” Frank Williams

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The latest passing of the legendary System 1 staff proprietor has prompted a flood of tributes from across the motor racing world.

The most recent to pay his respects to Sir Frank is Alan Jones, who took the Williams staff to the primary of its seven drivers’ world championships, driving the FW07 in 1980.

Chatting with Autosport, Jones admitted that listening to of Sir Frank’s passing had been arduous to take.

“On the finish of the day other than being a boss he was a pal,” mentioned Jones.

“I wish to suppose I used to be very near the household.”

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In accordance with Jones, Sir Frank’s best attributes had been willpower and sheer enthusiasm for motorsport.

He says the latter was highlighted by his persistence in attending grands prix within the years that adopted the automobile crash that left him in a wheelchair.

“He epitomised the spirit and the willpower of the final word fanatic,” mentioned Jones.

“On the finish of the day, other than being a staff proprietor, he was a real fanatic he beloved motorsport. How he put up with going to as many grands prix as a quadriplegic I’ll by no means know.

“His willpower and enthusiasm, it was simply so superb.

“I believe his legacy can be you could mainly do something so long as you set your thoughts to it.”

In addition to the breakthrough title Jones performed a pivotal function within the early success of the Williams squad throughout a four-season stint from 1978 to 1981.

Alan Jones, Williams FW07B

Photograph by: David Phipps

Reflecting on that success, Jones says it was made extra particular by an underdog spirit shared by himself, Williams and well-known technical guru Patrick Head.

“We had an exquisite working relationship. There was three of us Frank, Patrick and myself [and] we had been all the same age,” mentioned Jones.

Learn extra tributes to Sir Frank Williams:

“It was fabulous and the three of us all got here up collectively. To win towards established names was very very satisfying.

“It was the end result of one thing. Frank began out racing second-hand F1 automobiles and scrambling up bits and items, so for him to win a world championship, it was the end result of a dream.

“And for me having left Australia and gone over [to Europe] to dwell and gone via the lesser formulation, to win the F1 world championship was a really emotional second.”

As for working with Sir Frank, Jones says an trade at Watkins Glen sums up what that was like.

“He was a tough taskmaster however he was 100 per cent truthful and I typically say that he was the most effective man I ever drove for,” mentioned Jones.

“He took discover of what you mentioned. There was one explicit incident once we had been at Watkins Glen and I didn’t qualify all that properly.

“I mentioned to Frank that I assumed the engine I used to be utilizing was down on energy, so he mentioned, ‘proper we are going to change it. There isn’t a level me paying you all this cash to drive for me and doubting you phrase’.

“Certain sufficient we modified the engine and I used to be quickest within the morning warm-up.

“That was the form of man he was.”

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