Sir Frank Williams never got over the ‘pain’ he felt after Ayrton Senna’s death

More than 27 years had passed since the tragic, untimely death of Ayrton Senna on the Formula 1 racetrack when Sir Frank Williams' own incredible life came to an end on Sunday.

Aged 79, the founder of the constructor which bears his legendary family name and still competes on the grid to this day died in his hospital bed, surrounded by those who loved him most.

And up to that very moment, he was still deeply affected by the horror crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix which claimed the life of the Brazilian.

Senna was a three-time world champion and one of the huge names of that era which dominated the sport, alongside the likes of his great rival Alain Prost and countryman Nelson Piquet.

Sir Frank had finally got his man for the 1994 season – after driving in the colours of Toleman, Lotus and McLaren over the previous 10 years, Senna made the switch to Williams.

The team had won the constructors' championship in the previous two seasons, and would win three more in that decade as the Williams name dominated the sport in the 1990s.

Senna was supposed to play a major role in that success, but his career with the team and his life were cut short in horrific circumstances when he slammed into a wall at high-speed at Imola.

How big was Sir Frank Williams' impact on F1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

It was just his third race for Williams, and one of two great tragedies on that same weekend after the death of fellow racer Roland Ratzenberger the day before – he too had lost control of his car and crashed.

Senna's death had a profound impact on everyone involved in the sport, and that very much included Sir Frank.

Last year, on the 26th anniversary of that fatal crash, his daughter and former deputy principal of the Williams team Claire revealed that her dad was still unable to open up about it.

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"Frank had a love affair with Ayrton. He got into his heart, got into his mind, and he always wanted to put him in his race car," she told The Sun.

"Dad's wish then came true, but it ended in the worst possible way.

"Frank never spoke to anyone about it. He internalises and keeps it all in. That is how he has been brought up, but you can see the pain in his eyes every time he thinks about the accident.

"He will talk about what a great man Ayrton was and what a great driver he was, but nothing to do with the accident."

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