Frank Williams: The Inside Story of the Man Behind Williams Renault, by Maurice Hamilton
Hardcover, © 1998 MacMillan ISBN 9780333717165
There is no doubting the legend that is Frank Williams.. charismatic, determined, stubborn, visionary. Maurice Hamilton’s biography of the great man covers an enormous amount of background which influenced and pushed Frank into becoming one of the best F1 team owners.
More than 100 Grand Prix wins and several World Championship sounds impressive but the road to those statistics was rather bumpy. Maurice Hamilton gives insight into the struggle, personally and financially (often being evicted from homes, wife and child in tow, after pouring all his money into cars) that would have turned most ‘normal’ people away from the game.
The Inside Story was produced without the blessing of Frank himself nor any team crew or family. Maurice relies heavily on interviews conducted 10-15 years before and also garnishes a lot from Virginia William’s book about her famous husband (which Maurice admits the book would be terrible without).
That aside, it is a fascinating read which gets into the nitty gritty of setting up a F1 team, running the team, falling out with drivers, getting back up after being knocked down and eventually triumph with Williams team first win July ’79 with Regazzoni who, incidentally, found himself confined to a wheelchair a few years after Frank.
While the Inside Story covers a lot of ground technically Maurice also touches on the life changing accident which Williams admits ‘I totally cocked it up. It was entirely my own fault….It was only a matter of time before I was going to have an accident’.
I found this book to be slightly long on the technicalities of starting a team and without the input of Frank Williams is short on the personal aspects of his life and the Williams- Renault team. Overall it is sufficient in its facts, figures and dramas of a great F1 team and makes for an interesting read.
Using RichardsF1.com’s unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, I award Frank Williams: The Inside Story of the Man Behind Williams Renault…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
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Today’s review was written by Adelaide-based reader Prue Foster, who has joined the RichardsF1.com team as a guest product reviewer. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a product reviewer, click here.