Formula 1 Summer Movie Series: Williams (2017)

It is not the best of times for Williams as a Formula 1 team to say the least. The team has barely scored any points, and next season looks like an even darker cloud is ready to rain on the team. Although the team is in a bad position currently, the team has a glorious history.

Formula 1 Summer Movie Series: Williams (2017)

The team and its famous founder Frank Williams are what legends are made of: true determination and courage. In the 2017 film “Williams” made by BBC, they show the teams legacy, and uncover details about it’s story that have not been made public up until it’s release.

BBC’s “Williams” Documentary Delves Deep Into The Families History

The 109-minute documentary shares two stories, one Frank, and the families second racing generation, Claire Williams. Claire Williams tells her story from her perspective, showing how the media treats her, and how she has adjusted to a high up position in the company that she did not expect. Frank’s story is mostly told from the perspective of Virginia Williams, who passed away in 2013.

Virginia Williams, The Unsung Hero

Rare audio tapes were aired in the movie that were recorded in preparation for her 1991 book “A Different Kind Of Life.” Sharing these tapes with the documentary was Pamela Cockerill, who co-wrote the book with Virginia. These tapes played a key role in the movie since, as Claire said, the family did not like to talk about their issues, specifically Frank’s huge car accident.

As a matter of fact, co-author Pamela said that maybe the book was Virginia’s way of conveying her feelings on the crash and life after it since “Frank didn’t do emotion.”

Not only did the film do a good job at documenting the Williams franchise, but it also showed the risk that was involved in racing back in the 60’s and 70’s. Looking back at days like those makes you grateful for the safety inside a modern day F1 car. Claire once described the team as something that was as much about Frank and it was about Virginia.

A Turning Point In Frank’s Life

Frank’s accident that paralyzed him for the rest of his life is described in great detail in the film. Frank describes how he had “get-home-itis”, making him drive extremely fast down a tight road. When being rushed to the hospital, the people around Frank were worried about what his fate was. The effects and editing made it very intense to watch people describe this. The movie had a re-enactment of the crash which was shot very well. In Frank’s recovery from the injury Virginia or “Jinny” was painted as the biggest reason as to why he kept going.

The documentary ends (spoilers) with a tearful conversation between Frank and Claire, as Claire is reading excerpts from Virginia’s book about Frank. Frank stays as his cool and collected self while Claire cries and tells him about how proud he should be. After that Frank says to the interviewers that he doesn’t foresee stopping coming to Grand Prix’s, as he has never had a reason not to. I thought this was a great way to end the film. It gave a bittersweet conclusion to Virginia’s story and struggle with Frank, and showed that Williams as a team and as a family is a story that has yet to be finished.

The Last Word

The Williams movie is a highly recommended watch from me. I have watched it twice now and would say it’s a great watch for people who aren’t even motorsport fans. The movie is available in 24 countries via Netflix.

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