The son of a British Royal Air Force Squadron Leader, Williams was born during the Second World War when his father was stationed in Egypt. He was brought up in England and attended the exclusive Cheltenham College public school and then headed for London to study at Chelsea College. It was there that he met Charles Lucas and Piers Courage and he soon became involving with a motor racing set in London which included Charlie Crichton-Stuart and Frank Williams.He began racing Minis and in 1962 bought an Austin A40. This was followed by a Formula Junior Merlyn which he destroyed at Monaco. He next bought a Formula 3 Lotus and with Piers Courage founded Anglo-Swiss Racing, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The two friends traveled to the most lucrative Formula 3 races around Europe but did not have much success because it was not as grand an organization as the title suggested.In 1965 Williams joined Charles Lucas Engineering Ltd. which was a rather more successful operation and the end of that year was offered a paid drive by the De Sanctis company in Italy. It was an offer which he could not refuse and it brought him victories in the Mediterranean GP F3 race at Enna and in the famous Monza Lottery race. His driving attracted the attention of Enzo Ferrari and he was retained by Ferrari in 1967 to race in Formula 2. The car was slow arriving and Ferrari allowed him to race for De Sanctis in the Monza Lottery - which he won. At the end of the season Williams made his Grand Prix debut in the second Ferrari at the Mexican GP, standing in for the injured Mike Parkes. He finished eighth.In 1968 he won the Monza Lottery for a third time but his international career faded as Enzo Ferrari became excited about newcomers Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell.Williams quit the sport and learned to fly, basing himself in the south of France and becoming a pilot of executive jets.