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Williams in mourning as founder’s wife dies
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Mar 2013   |  1:30 pm GMT  |  71 comments

Lady Virginia Williams, wife of Williams F1 Team founder Sir Frank, has died at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer.

According to a statement from the team, “Lady Virginia, or ‘Ginny’ as she was better known, died peacefully at the family home last night surrounded by Frank and the rest of the Williams family. Ginny had been bravely battling cancer for the past two and a half years.

Ginny will always be an integral part of Williams’ history and success, and today we pay tribute to a much loved member of the Williams family who will be sorely missed.”

Ginny was a tremendous character and very important part of the development of the team. Her book “A Different Kind of Life” about the aftermath of Sir Frank’s road accident in 1986, which left him paralysed, is a moving account of the genesis of the team, their life together and of coping with a huge change in their relationship.

She was very entertaining company and had strong views on many things, including drivers. In the early days drivers would be invited to stay in their family house and on one famous occasion Ginny told Frank that the driver who had been their guest the night before lacked the killer edge and would never make it as an F1 driver.

“Why not?” asked Frank

“Because he made his own bed,” she replied.

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  1. Wayne says:

    What terrible news. God Bless Lady Virginia, rest in blissful peace. What a life Sir Frank has led so far, horrible tragedy and the very highest peaks of success and excellence and presumably joy. Best wishes to Sir Frank and the whole family. I’ll say a prayer.

    1. Cliff says:

      Excellent post!
      I’ve heard Sir Frank speak about his wife and how she helped him through his own trials on a number of occassions. In one way or another I’ve watched Sir Frank and his Team since the late 70′s and one thing is for certain, the Williams Family will remain strong during this difficult time. My one hope is that they will be granted the privacy they deserve.

      R.I.P. Lady Virginia.

      1. Gaynor says:

        R.I.P. To the Williams Family and Friends..

    2. Simon Lord says:


  2. Rich B says:

    very sad news, best wishes to frank and family

  3. goferet says:

    Shoot, my condolences to the Williams family.

    Didn’t know Lady Virginia was sick but reading about the way she bravely battled the illness, it’s quite obvious the Williams family are from the stiff upper lip generation who took whatever life threw at them with silent grit, courage and grace.

    Darn, it’s been a miserable couple of days for the Williams team, first with the passing of Chavez and now this.

    Rest in Peace Lady Virginia, we shall miss you.

  4. goferet says:

    Because he made his own bed

    Hahaha what a charming story.

    For sure I wouldn’t cut it as an F1 driver for I do make my bed every morning >>> No two ways about it.

    I wonder though, could this be the reason we haven’t got women pilots in F1 because all the women I know make their beds.


    No doubt, am 100% percent certain Vettel makes his own bed.

    Being somewhat of a perfectionist myself, I can smell a fellow brother miles away.

    On the other side of the coin, Kimi is the type that wouldn’t even tie his own shoe laces.

    1. Glennb says:

      I believe DC makes his own bed too.

  5. Random 79 says:

    Condolences to Frank and the Williams family.

  6. Anne says:

    If there is one person I respect the most in F1 that is Sir Frank. My thoughts go out to him and his family in this difficult times.

  7. Femi Akins says:

    Rest in peace.

    One of the many who were the driving forces behind the many men in the paddock.

  8. Anthony hiscock (Hiscock F1 Powerboat Racing) says:

    Be strong Frank, are thoughts are with you on this sad time

  9. Rein says:

    Truly sad news. Sympathies with the Williams family and team.

  10. Horno says:

    Ok, I never make up my own bed..
    Does this mean… ;)
    R.I.P. mrs. Williams!
    My condolences to the Williams Familiy.

  11. ak says:

    I wonder who that driver was ?

    1. goferet says:

      @ ak

      Nakajima junior

      1. Sebee says:

        He was probably was just being respectful and polite after Frank opened his home to him and was declared a dud. Not sure I understand the logic on how this relates to kille instinct.

        Perhaps from now on, I’m not going to give my kids a hard time when they don’t make their beds.

  12. JM says:

    Condolences to Sir Frank Williams and his family.
    May she rest in peace.

  13. clyde says:

    james can you tell us who that driver was ? :-)

  14. Quade says:

    So sad. Frank Williams has suffered so many blows.

  15. Ron Morgans says:

    Many condolences to Sir Frank and family

  16. Charith says:

    I’m racking my brain trying to figure out which Williams driver it was that lacked the killer edge… online searches are fruitless so far, does anyone know?!?

    1. Wayne says:

      If the article had not said ‘in the early days’ – I would have said Damon. He was the sort of nice boy who would make his own bed and he was never a ‘killer’, more of a gentleman racer.

    2. JimmiC says:

      As much as I love him, my first and immediate thought when I read that story was ‘Damon Hill’ :P

      RIP Ginny, thoughts to her family and friends

    3. James Clayton says:

      “Ginny told Frank that the driver who had been their guest the night before lacked the killer edge and would never make it as an F1 driver”

      Indicates that the driver at that point had not yet entered F1… Maybe he never did?

    4. Geoff Norman says:

      Probably Regga – the Swiss are so fastidious they have vacuum cleaners for the dinner table.

      May Creator hold Sir Frank in the palm of his hand.

  17. Matt Jackson says:

    R.I.P. I only finished reading her book a few weeks ago, a very resilient lady.

  18. Onko says:

    From 1986 an extraordinary Lady in extraordinary times,condolences to Sir, Frank
    and all his family, I am sure it comes from
    all who follow F1.

  19. Chris says:

    Surely after all these years, someone must know who Lady Virginia was referring to?? Curious to know ;) And I’m sure some feelings wouldn’t be hurt since they lacked that killer edge anyway!

  20. D.Clark says:


  21. David Morton says:

    Sorry to hear about Frank’s loss. Ginny was obviously a huge support to him after his accident and stayed by her man.
    I would like to see the team getting back on top again and regain the glory days of Jones and Mansell.

  22. Lee says:

    My thoughts are with Sir Frank, and the rest of the Williams family

  23. Steven says:


    Behind eveery great man, theres a strong woman.

  24. Graham Passmore says:

    Such sad news. I wonder who, amongst the great Williams drivers of the past will attend the funeral service. Are you following this Mssrs. Jones, Prost, Mansell, Piquet? I sure that, had he still been alive, Ayrton would be making his flight reservations as I write this.

  25. Richard says:

    Obviously a lovely lady whom will of course be greatly missed by frank and his family, and the wider circle of friends. It’s a wretched disease that claims so many before their time, and the addage that behind every successful man is a very capable woman is clearly true in Frank Williams’s case. You know we can say all the beautiful words there are to said, but they don’t matter a jot as it is for Frank and his family to somehow come to terms with this very personal tragedy. All we can say really is that they are in our thoughts.

  26. Rockie says:

    RIP a sad loss to the Williams family

  27. Andrew Carter says:

    My condolences to the Williams family.

  28. [MISTER] says:

    My condolences to the Williams family! Sad news on this season start. Lets hope Williams have a great start of the season to dedicate to Lady Virginia!

  29. TP says:

    Poor Frank. I’ll be rooting for a Williams victory in Melbourne.

  30. Carl says:

    My sympathies to Sir Williams and his family.

  31. Kevin Green says:

    This will be what the apparent decline of interest over the team over the last couple of seasons was all about, ans i thought it was maybe related to his own health!, I wonder what happens now a resurge of interest or a turn of the back in a sense. Such a shame for a guy for all his success i am pretty sure would throw it all away to have had a full life of good health for himself and his wife.

  32. Monktonnik says:

    Sad loss

  33. Galapago555 says:

    May Lady Virginia Rest in Peace.

    Condolences to Sir Williams, his family and the whole Williams F1 Team. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

  34. stuart briggs says:

    Very sad news.

  35. Sally says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Williams family … Ginny should be remembered with admiration for learning so many valuable life lessons following Sir Frank’s accident, and then sharing them so honestly, funnily and compassionately with the rest of us. She was no hot house flower. RIP Ginny.

  36. Feral says:

    Condolences to Sir Frank and family
    RIP Ginny

  37. Colin Worth says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Sir Frank, the family and all the Williams team. RIP Ginny

    Colin & Julie Worth

  38. Chris G says:

    Thoughts are with Frank
    One of the most inspirational sports men this country has produced in my opinion (and he’s not even a driver!)
    Probably not first priority at this particular moment in time but I hope to see you r team back on the top step this season.
    For you and for ‘Ginny’

  39. DVX says:

    Poor guy God bless him and his wife.

  40. Stone the crows says:

    Deepest sympathies to Sir Frank and family,

  41. Elie says:

    May she rest in peace, My condolences to Sir Frank and the family.

  42. How awful. I can’t imagine how Sir Frank must feel… at least she got to see another Williams victory, as you mentioned James

  43. KRB says:

    RIP Lady Virginia.

    Condolences to Sir Frank, the family, and the wider Williams family.

    It is an awful disease, all too prevalent these days.

    1. KRB says:

      Condolences also to David Coulthard, on the sudden death of his sister over the weekend. Just read about it today. Very sad news. As DC said, love life!

  44. Glennb says:

    My sincere condolences to the Williams family.

  45. Curro says:

    Top Lady, rest in peace.

  46. Alexis says:

    Very sad. I lost father last month at the same age of 66.

  47. Fred says:

    My sympathies to Sir Frank and his family.

  48. David Ryan says:

    Very sad news – thoughts and prayers with Sir Frank, the Williams family and all who knew her. RIP Ginny.

  49. Rudy says:

    My sincere condolences to Sir Frank Williams and family for this sensible loss.

  50. JimT says:

    Only the good die young, such a waste of a spirited lady. Have to feel for Sir Frank too, he must wonder about his luck :-(

  51. AP says:

    Sad news indeed.

    PS: Was she right about the driver?

  52. Rishi says:

    Belated condolences to the Williams family regarding this sad news. Remember reading years ago about her amazing resilience and persistence during the incredibly difficult aftermath of Sir Frank’s accident

  53. seeing scarlet says:

    My condolences Mr. Williams good luck this season.

  54. john gilbert says:

    Dear Sir Frank,
    My sincere thoughts are with you and your family, very sad news, she was obviously a lovely lady.

  55. Gordon says:

    Your in Gods hands now Ginny.
    You stayed strong brave and dignified throughout your illness.
    You leave behind fond memories for myself and many sad friends and acquaintances.
    Sleep well.


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