Williams review – F1 boss profile a cut above the usual petrolhead documentary
The story of the remarkable rise and horrific disasters that befell motor racing supremo Sir Frank Williams is told with unusual senstivity and openness
Here is a documentary profile of celebrated Formula One team owner Frank Williams that, while covering all the bases that its petrolhead/motorsport fanbase would expect, also manages to excavate some unexpectedly intense emotional baggage lurking under the surface.
Williams, of course, is one of the greats of British Formula One, a link to the 60s and early 70s era of high-risk, often-fatal daredevil circuit racing; Williams himself lost his first driver Piers Courage in 1970 at the Dutch Grand Prix. This film does a nice job of trying to explain some of the rarefied mechanics of Formula One, and how Williams toiled for years to improve his cars’ performance to top-level standard. As director Morgan Matthews tells it, Williams’ decision to appoint Patrick Head as his technical director in 1977 proved a turning point: improved car design triggered Williams’ ascent up the rankings, culminating in their first world driver’s championship in 1980 for Alan Jones.
Source: Formula 1