The Williams team heads for next weekend's Australian Grand Prix with heavy hearts following the news that the wife of founder Sir Frank Williams has lost her battle with cancer.

A short statement issued by the team confirmed Lady Virginia's passing after a lengthy struggle against the disease.

"It is with great sadness that today we report the death of Lady Virginia Williams, wife of Williams founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams," the team confirmed.

"Lady Virginia, or 'Ginny' as she was better known, died peacefully at the family home last night surrounded by Frank and the rest of the Williams family. Ginny had been bravely battling cancer for the past two-and-a-half years.

"Ginny will always be an integral part of Williams' history and success, and today we pay tribute to a much loved member of the Williams family who will be sorely missed. Please respect the family's wishes for privacy at this time."

Crash Media Group extends its condolences to Sir Frank and rest of the Williams family.