DECEMBER 19, 2010
Frank Williams wins BBC award
Sir Frank Williams has won the Helen Rollason Award at the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony in the UK.
The award commemorates the BBC sports presenter who was inspirational in her losing battle against cancer a number of years ago. It is also welcome recognition for both Sir Frank and F1, a major sport in the BBC's armoury, but one which has not won the major award in the past three years despite strong representation.
In 2007, Lewis Hamilton was a strong favourite to take the award for his debut GP season but lost out to boxer Joe Calzaghe who, by rights, should have taken it the previous year for his sensational performance against American Jeff Lacy, who failed to win a round against the Welshman despite being dubbed the 'next Mike Tyson.' Princess Anne's daughter Zara took the honours that year.
In 2008, Hamilton narrowly lost out again, to Olympic cycling multi-medallist Chris Hoy. In 2009 world champion Jenson Button finished runner-up to Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs. It is thought, however, that Red Bull Racing could be strongly in the running for this year'sTeam of the Year award at the BBC ceremony.
Looking back on the career which has won him the award, Williams said: "It's one I would love to do again if I were younger. I certainly wouldn't try and do anything different, except avoid the accident of course. .." Williams suffered the injuries that put him in a wheelchair while driving to Nice airport after a test at Paul Ricard in the south of France in March 1986.