Constructor_name = flagicon|United Kingdom Williams-Toyota
Base = Grove,
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Principal = flagicon|United Kingdom
Director = flagicon|Australia
Drivers = 7.flagicon|Germany
Engine = Toyota RVX-08
Fuel supplier =
1978 Argentine Grand Prix
2008 Italian Grand Prix
Races = 513
Cons_champ = 9 (1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997)
Drivers_champ = 7 (1980, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997)
Wins = 113
Poles = 125
Fastest_laps = 128
Last_season = 2007
Last_position = 4th (33 points)
Renault BMW:"Not to be confused with Frank Williams Racing Cars, formed by Frank Williams1967.
WilliamsF1, the trading name of Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd., is a
Formula One(F1) motor racingteam and constructor. It was founded and run by Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head. The team was formed in 1977 after two earlier and, compared with WilliamsF1's achievements, unsuccessful F1 operations, Frank Williams Racing Carsand Walter Wolf Racing. All of WilliamsF1 chassis are called "FW" then a number, the FW being the initials of team owner, Frank Williams.
Williams' first race was the
1978 Argentine Grand Prix, and Switzerland's Clay Regazzoniwon Williams' first race at the 1979 British Grand Prix. At the 1997 British Grand Prix, Canadian Jacques Villeneuvewon the team's 100th race, making Williams one of only three teams in Formula One, alongside Ferrari and fellow British team McLaren, to win 100 races. Williams won nine Constructor's titles between 1980 and 1997. This stood as a record until Ferrari surpassed it in 2000.
Many famous racing drivers have driven for Williams, including
Finland's Keke Rosberg; Britain's Nigel Manselland Damon Hill; France's Alain Prostand Brazil's Nelson Piquetand Ayrton Senna, and Canada's Jacques Villeneuve, each of whom, with the exception of Senna, have captured one Drivers' title with the team. After Senna died in a Williams car in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Frank Williams, Patrick Head and designer Adrian Neweywere all accused of manslaughter. The trial finally closed in 2005, when Williams, Head and Newey were all cleared of any wrongdoing.
Williams have worked with many notable engine manufacturers, most successfully with Renault: Williams won five of their nine constructors' titles with the French company. Along with Ferrari,
McLaren, and Renault (formerly Benetton), Williams is one of the "Big Four" teams that have won every constructors' championship since 1979 and every driver's championship since 1984. Williams remains the only one independently owned, as the other three are "factory teams" either setup or bought out by major auto manufacturers.
Frank Williams Racing Cars& Walter Wolf Racing" Frank Williamsstarted the current Williams team in 1977 after his previous outfit, Frank Williams Racing Cars, failed to achieve the success he desired. Despite the promise of a new owner in the form of Canadian millionaire Walter Wolf, the team's 1976 cars were not competitive. Eventually Williams left the rechristened Walter Wolf Racingand moved to Didcotto rebuild his team as "Williams Grand Prix Engineering". Frank recruited young engineer Patrick Headto work for the team, creating the "Williams-Head" partnership. ["Constructors: Williams F1" [http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-willi.html www.grandprix.com] Retrieved 21 August 2006]
Racing history – Formula One
:"Related Article: Ford Motor Company"
Williams entered a customer March 761 for the 1977 season. Lone driver
Patrick Nèveappeared at 11 races that year, starting with the Spanish Grand Prix. The new team failed to score a point, achieving a best finish of 7th at the Italian Grand Prix. ["Williams Grand Prix Engineering - 1977 results" [http://www.f1db.com/exec/section/team/action/results/id/1977030/type/entries www.f1db.com] Retrieved 22 August 2006]
For the 1978 season, Patrick Head designed his first Williams: the FW06. Williams signed
AustralianAlan Jones, who had won the Austrian Grand Prix the previous season for a deflated Shadow team following the death of their lead driver, Tom Pryce. Jones’s first race for the team was the Argentine Grand Prix where he qualified the lone Williams in 14th position, but retired after 36 laps with a fuel system failure. The team scored its first championship points two rounds later at the South African Grand Prix when Jones finished fourth. Williams managed their first podium position at the US Grand Prix, where the Australian came second, some 20 seconds behind the Ferrari of future Williams driver Carlos Reutemann. [cite news | title = Grand Prix Results: United States GP, 1978 | url = http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr312.html | publisher = GrandPrix.com | date = | accessdate = 2006-11-13] Williams ended the season in tenth place in the constructors’ championship, with a respectable 16 points, while Alan Jones finished 12th in the drivers' championship.
Head designed the FW07 for the 1979 season. This was the team’s first ground effect car, a technology first introduced by
Colin Chapmanand Team Lotus. Williams also obtained membership of the Formula One Constructors Association(FOCA) which expressed a preference for teams to run two cars, so Jones was partnered by Swissdriver Clay Regazzoni. [cite book | last = Hamilton | first = Maurice | authorlink = | coauthors = | editor = | others = | title = Frank Williams | accessdate = | edition = | date = | publisher = Macmillan | location = | id = ISBN 0-333-71716-3|pages = 80] They had to wait until the seventh round of the championship, the Monaco Grand Prix, for a points-scoring position. Regazzoni came close to taking the team’s first win but finished second, less than a second behind race winner Jody Scheckter. The next round at Dijon is remembered for the final lap battle between René Arnouxand Gilles Villeneuve, ["Grand Prix Results: French GP, 1979" [http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr321.html GrandPrix.com] . Retrieved 27 July 2006] but also saw both cars finish in the points for the first time: Jones was fourth with Regazzoni sixth. The team’s first win came at the 1979 British Grand Prix– their home Grand Prix - when Regazzoni finished almost 25 seconds ahead of anyone else.Things got even better when Williams cars finished first and second at the next round in Hockenheim, Alan Jones two seconds ahead of Regazzoni. Jones then made it three wins in a row at the Österreichring, finishing half a minute ahead of Gilles Villeneuve’s Ferrari. Three wins in a row became four wins two weeks later at Zandvoort, Alan Jones winning again by a comfortable margin over Jody Scheckter’s Ferrari. Scheckter ended the Williams winning streak when he won Ferrari’s home Italian Grand Prix, Regazzoni finishing third behind both Ferraris. Alan Jones managed another win at the penultimate race at Montreal to cap off a great season.
Williams had greatly improved their constructors' championship position, finishing eight places higher than the previous year and scoring 59 more points. Alan Jones was the closest driver to the Ferrari duo of Villeneuve and 1979 champion Jody Scheckter, the Australian scored 43 points, 17 behind the
South African, while Jones’s team mate, Regazzoni, was two places behind him with 32 points.
In 1980 Alan Jones partnered the
Argentine Carlos Reutemann. The team started well in the championship, with Jones winning the first round of the season in Argentina. Jones won four more races: Paul Ricard, Brands Hatch, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the final round at Watkins Glen. Jones became the first of seven Williams drivers to win the drivers' championship, 17 points ahead of Nelson Piquet’s Brabham. Williams also won its first constructors’ championship, scoring 120 points, almost twice as many as second-placed Ligier.
The duo won four races for the Williams team in the 1981 season. Alan Jones won at the first round at Long Beach and the final round at Las Vegas, while
Carlos Reutemannwon at the second round at Jacarepagua and the fifth round at Zolder. Williams won the constructors’ title for the second year running, scoring 95 points, 34 points more than second-placed Brabham.
Alan Jones retired from Formula One, only to come back a year later for a single season with the
Arrowsteam. The Australianwas replaced by Finnish driver, Keke Rosberg, who had not scored a single championship point the previous year. He won the Drivers title that year; winning only one race, which was in Switzerland. Rosberg’s teammate, Reutemann, finished in 15th place having quit Formula One after just two races of the new season. His seat was filled by Mario Andrettifor the US Grand Prix West before Derek Dalytook over for the rest of the year. The Williams team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship that year, 16 points behind champions Ferrari.
By the end of the season,
Frank Williamsrealised that to compete at the top levels of Formula Onehe needed the support of a major manufacturer, such as Renaultor BMWwho could supply his team with a turboengine.
Honda and Judd (1983–1988)
Honda Racing F1, Judd engines"
Frank Williamslooked towards Honda, which was developing its own turbo-charged V6 engine with the Spirit team. A deal between Honda and Williams was finally settled early in 1983 and the team used the engines for the 1984 season. For the rest of the 1983 season, Williams used the Ford engine. The team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship, scoring 36 points, including a win for Keke Rosbergat the 1983 Monaco Grand Prix.
For the 1984 season Head designed the ungainly FW09.
Keke Rosbergwon the United States Grand Prix at Dallas and managed to get second at the opening race in Brazil. Rosberg’s team mate, Jacques Laffite, came 14th in the drivers' championship with five points. The team finished sixth with 25.5 points, with Rosberg eighth in the drivers' championship.
In 1985, Head designed the FW10, the team’s first chassis to employ the carbon-fibre composite technology pioneered by the
McLarenteam. British driver Nigel Manselljoined the team to partner Rosberg. The team scored four wins with Rosberg, winning in Detroit and Adelaide, while Mansell won the European Grand Prix and the South African Grand Prix. Williams finished third in the constructors' championship, scoring 71 points.
In March 1986,
Frank Williamsfaced the most serious challenge of his life. While returning to airport at Nice, he was involved in a car accident which left him paralysed. He did not return to the pit lane for almost a year. [cite book | last = Hamilton | first = Maurice | authorlink = | coauthors = | editor = | others = | title = Frank Williams | accessdate = | edition = | date = | publisher = Macmillan | location = | id = ISBN 0-333-71716-3|pages = 148-153] Despite the lack of his presence in the team, the Williams team won nine Grands Prix and the constructors’ Championship and came close to winning the Drivers' championship with Nigel Mansell, but the British driver’s left-rear tyre blew up along the back straight at the Australian GP, the final round of the season, while his fellow championship rival, and teammate, Piquet made a pit stop shortly after Mansell’s retirement as a precaution. This left Alain Prostto defend his title successfully, despite being in an inferior car.
The 1987 season brought Williams-Honda partnership its first and only Drivers' championship title in the form of
Nelson Piquet, who scored 76 points and won three races, while the Brazilian’s teammate, Mansell, was 15 points behind him in second place with six victories during the season. The Williams team finished as constructors’ champions for the second year running, scoring 137 points, 61 points ahead of their nearest rivals McLaren. Despite this success Honda ended their partnership with Williams at the end of the year in favour of McLaren and Lotus.
Unable to make a deal with another major engine manufacturer, Williams used naturally-aspirated
Judd enginesfor the 1988 season. [cite web|url=http://www.itv-f1.com/Feature.aspx?Type=Photo_Features&PO_ID=36777|title=ITV-F1.com: WilliamsF1 Highs And Lows|accessdate=2007-05-15] This left them with a significant performance deficit compared with their turbo-powered rivals. Piquet left Williams to join Lotus, who had secured Honda engines for the 1988 season. Williams brought in Italian Riccardo Patreseto replace him. The team did not win a single race that season and finished seventh in the constructors’ championship, scoring 20 points. The highlights of the season were two second places by Mansell, at the British and Spanish Grand Prix. When Mansell was forced to miss two races through illness, he was replaced by Martin Brundleand then Jean Louis Schlesser.
Renault and Mecachrome (1989–1999)
The team secured an engine supply from Renault in 1989. Renault engines subsequently powered Williams drivers to another four Drivers' and five constructors’ Championships up until Renault’s departure from Formula One at the end of 1997. The combination of Renault’s powerful engine and
Adrian Newey’s design expertise led to a particularly dominant period in the mid 1990s. Mansell had a record breaking 1992 season winning the title in record time and leading many races from pole to finish. Some maintain that the Williams FW14Band FW15C were "the most technologically advanced cars that will ever race in Formula One". ["The changing face of F1" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/cars_guide/4272031.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 12 July 2006]
The Renault era started in 1989, with Italian
Riccardo Patreseand Belgian Thierry Boutsenat the helm of the two Williams cars. The engine’s first grand prix in Brazil was one that the team would prefer to forget, with Boutsen retiring with an engine failure and Patrese with an alternator failure. The Williams Renault team managed to get back on track with Boutsen coming fourth in the next race at Imola, earning the team three points in their championship campaign. Two races later at the Mexican Grand Prix, the team managed to achieve their first podium with the Renault engine, thanks to Patrese, who came second, 15 seconds behind the race winner Ayrton Senna. The next race saw Patrese come second again, having started from 14th on the grid, with Boutsen 6th. At the sixth round in Canada, Williams not only scored their first win with the Renault engine but also their first one-two: Thierry Boutsen came first followed by Patrese, resulting in 15 points for Williams' championship campaign. Williams came second in the constructors’ championship, scoring 77 points in total; 64 points behind winners Mclaren. Patrese finished 3rd in the drivers' championship with 40 points, 41 points behind the 1989 world champion, Alain Prost.
In 1990, Williams kept Patrese and Boutsen as the team’s drivers. Although Patrese won the San Marino Grand Prix and Boutsen won pole position and the race at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the team scored 30 fewer points than the previous year and finished the constructors’ championship two positions lower, in fourth. In the drivers' championship, Boutsen finished sixth with 34 points and Patrese seventh with 23 points.
Boutsen left Williams and joined
Ligierat the start of 1991. His replacement was Britain's Nigel Mansell; Williams also recruited future 1996 world champion, Damon Hill, as one of their new test drivers. Williams failed to finish in the first Grand Prix of the season at Phoenix, both drivers retiring with gearbox problems. Patrese got back on track for the team in the next Grand Prix at Interlagos, coming second behind McLaren's Ayrton Senna. The 1991 San Marino Grand Prixsaw both cars retiring again: Mansell after a collision and Patrese with an electrical failure after 17 laps. The Grand Prix at Monaco saw Mansell finally finish in a points-scoring position, coming second, 18 seconds behind race winner Ayrton Senna. Two Grands Prix later in Mexico, Williams got their second one-two with the Renault engine, Patrese finishing ahead of Mansell to score 16 points for the Williams team. Williams then had two consecutive victories, with Mansell winning the French Grand Prix, five seconds ahead of Alain Prost’s Ferrari. Mansell then won again at the British Grand Prix; it had been four years since a Briton had won the grand prix, Mansell having won it in 1987. Three consecutive victories became four when Mansell won again in 1991, Patrese was about 10 seconds behind him in second place. Senna ended Williams' run of victories by winning in Hungary, finishing five seconds ahead of Nigel Mansell. Mansell later won the Italian Grand Prix and the Spanish Grand Prix, while Patrese won the Portuguese Grand Prix after Mansell's race was ruined by a botched pitstop in which only three wheel nuts were fitted. Williams finished second in the constructors’ championship, scoring 125 points in total, 14 points behind McLaren. Mansell finished second in the drivers' championship, scoring 72 points, 24 points behind Senna.1992
Williams took a step up for the 1992 season, keeping their 1991 driver line-up of Patrese and Mansell. Mansell dominated the first round in South Africa, qualifying in pole position and winning the race by 24 seconds from his team-mate Patrese. Nigel Mansell won the next four rounds for Williams, at Mexico City, Interlagos, Catalunya and Imola, Patrese coming second in all but one (the Spanish Grand Prix, where he retired after spinning off). Mansell's five victories in the opening five races was a new record in Formula One. Senna won the next race in Monaco, ahead of both Williams cars, which finished second and third. In the next race, in Canada, both Williams cars retired: Mansell spun off on entering the final corner (he claimed that Senna pushed him off) and Patrese had a gearbox failure. Mansell went on to record four more Grand Prix wins, including at the British Grand Prix. (In the final round, in Adelaide, the two Williams again retired, Mansell after Senna violently crashed into the back of him, and Patrese with electrical problems.) Williams won the constructors’ championship with 164 points, 65 points more than second place McLaren. Mansell became World Champion, scoring 108 points, with Patrese finishing second with 56 points. In winning nine races in a single season Mansell had set a new record for the most wins by a single driver in one season.
Nigel Mansellleft the Williams team in 1993 for IndyCar racing, the team hired triple champion Alain Prost, and promoted test driver Damon Hillto replace Riccardo Patrese, who had left to join Michael Schumacherat Benetton. The Williams FW15C was the dominant car, with active suspension and traction control systems beyond anything available to the other teams. ["Interview - Frank Williams (1 July, 1993)" [http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00150.html GrandPrix.Com] . Retrieved 14 July 2006] Prost won on his debut for the team in South Africa and, like Mansell, dominated the weekend, taking pole position and finishing a minute ahead of Senna, who was second. The next Grand Prix in Brazil saw Prost collide with Christian Fittipaldi's Minardi in the rain on lap 29, while Hill went on to his first podium finish: second, 16 seconds behind Senna. Prost won three of the next four Grands Prix for Williams, Senna winning the other race. Prost and Hill later scored a 1-2 in France: the only 1-2 of the season for Williams. The Frenchman won the next two Grand Prix at Silverstone and Hockenheim. Prost’s team mate Hill proved competitive, being able to keep pace with Senna when Prost could not, notably at Brazil, Monaco, and the European GPs. Mechanical problems cost the Englishman wins in Britain and Germany, but he went on to win the next three Grand Prix at Hungary; Belgium and Italy. After Italy, Williams would not win a Grand Prix for the rest of the season, with Senna winning in Japan and Australia, while a young Michael Schumacherwon the following race in Portugal. Williams retained their constructor’s title, 84 points ahead of second placed, McLaren. Prost won the driver’s championship in his final year of Formula One, 26 points ahead second place Ayrton Senna.
From 1994 to 1997 the cars ran in the highly distinctive blue and white
Rothmanslivery, widely regarded as one of F1’s most popular colour schemes. ["1999 - Color In Sport" [http://www.ssur.org/articles/items/1999_ColorInSport.htm ssur.org.] . Retrieved 14 July 2006]
Williams secured the signing of Senna in 1994. ["Formula One History: After Tamburello" [http://www.f1-grandprix.com/history7.html F1-GrandPrix.com/History] . Retrieved 13 June 2006] Given this was the same team that had won the previous two
World Championships with vastly superior cars, Senna was a natural and presumptive pre-season title favorite, with second-year driver Damon Hillintended to play the supporting role. Between them, Prost, Senna, and Hill had won all but one race, which was taken by Benetton's Michael Schumacher.
Pre-season testing showed the car had speed but it was difficult to drive. The FIA had banned electronic drivers aids, such as
active suspension, traction controland ABS, to make the sport more "human". It was these technological advancements that the Williams chassis' of the previous years had been built around. With their removal in '94 Williams had not been a good-handling car, as observed by other F1 drivers, having been seen to be very loose at the rear. Senna himself had made numerous (politically careful) comments that the Williams FW16had some quirks which needed to be ironed out. It was obvious that the FW16, after the regulation changes banning active suspension and traction control, exhibited none of the superiority of the FW15C and FW14B cars that had preceded it. The surprise of testing was Benetton-Ford which was less powerful but more nimble than the Williams.
The first four rounds were won by
Michael Schumacherin the Benetton-Ford. Senna took pole in the first three races but finished none of them, most infamously at Imola after a fatal crash at the first corner after completing five laps, this day was described by many as "F1’s darkest day". ["On This Day: 1st May [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/witness/may/1/newsid_2951000/2951011.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] Hill finished second in Brazil and sixth at Imola, but also retired twice.
The repercussions of Senna's fatal accident were severe for the team itself, as the Italian prosecutors tried to charge the team and
Frank Williamswith manslaughter, an episode which was not over until 2005. ["Top designers acquitted on Senna" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4587195.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] At the next race in Monaco, Damon Hillwas the only Williams on the grid, this was done as a mark of respect to Senna, ["WilliamsF1.com > Seasons > 1994" [http://www.williamsf1.com/consumer/season/1994/overview.htm WilliamsF1.com] . Retrieved 14 July 2006] the Brit retired on the first lap. Since Senna’s death, every Williams F1 car has carried a Senna 'S' somewhere on its livery in his honour.
The next race in Spain, Williams brought in test driver,
David Coulthard, as Hill’s new teammate. In the race itself, Hill took the team's first victory of the season, by almost half a minute over Schumacher's Benetton, while Coulthard would retire due to an electrical problem. In Canada, both Williams cars finished in the points for the first time that season, with Hill finishing second and Coulthard finishing fifth. Two rounds later, Damon Hill did something his father, Graham, never did, which was winning the British Grand Prix. Hill closed the gap with Schumacher in the championship, after the German was disqualified from first at Spa after the Stewards found floorboard irregularities on his Benetton. He was banned for the next two races, in which Hill capitalised on with wins in Italy and a Williams 1-2 in Portugal. Schumacher would come back after his suspension for the European Grand Prix, which he won by about 25 seconds. By the penultimate round in Japan, Hill was 5 points behind Schumacher and if he did not finish ahead of the German, it would be very unlikely that he would take the title in the final round in Adelaide, however Hill did win the rain-soaked restart, by three seconds to Schumacher who finished second and so to the final round in Adelaide, where Schumacher led Hill by one point.
With four races left,
Frank Williamsbrought back in 1992 champion Nigel Mansellto replace Coulthard. Mansell would get approximately £900,000 "per race", while Hill was paid £300,000 for the entire season, though Hill remained as lead driver. [Hamilton, Maurice "Frank Williams" page 244 Macmillan ISBN 0-333-71716-3] [http://atlasf1.autosport.com/99/fra/preview/horton.html]
Mansell would take pole for Williams, however he had a poor start which gave way for Hill and Schumacher to fight it out for the lead and the 1994 title. Mid way through the race, Schumacher’s tactics for low aerodynamics, would cost him as he clipped the wall coming into the fifth corner and went wide. Schumacher and Hill would end up colliding on the next corner, and the double retirement that resulted meant Schumacher was the champion. This collision has been controversial. Some, such as Williams'
Patrick Head, have suggested that this was a deliberate attempt by Schumacher to take Hill out of the race. ["'Ruthless' Schumi blasted" [http://motoring.iafrica.com/formulaone/561093.htm Motoring.iafrica.com] . Retrieved 2 August 2006] However others, such as then BBC commentator Murray Walker, defended Schumacher, calling the accident a "racing incident". Williams would end the season as constructors champions for the third consecutive year, scoring 118 points, while Hill finished second in the drivers championship with 91 points.
Nigel Mansellleft Williams again, this time he moved to McLaren to leave Williams with Hill and Coulthard. At the first round in Brazil, Schumacher start off with a win, with Coulthard coming second. However, both were disqualified from the race after it was found that their fuel supplier, Elf, supplied the teams with a type of fuel that was different than the ones they gave to the FIAas samples. So Gerhard Bergerand Ferrari were declared winners, until Schumacher and Coulthard had their positions reinstated after appeal, though Benetton and Williams were not awarded their constructors points. Hill won the next two races in Argentina and San Marino and would later win two more races, which were at The Hungaroring and in Adelaide, the latter where Hill won two laps ahead of the field in one of F1's most dominating victories. Coulthard would also record his only win for the Williams team, at Estoril, before moving to McLaren. Benetton would end Williams' four year dominance after they won the championship 29 points ahead Williams. Hill would come second for the second year running, 33 points behind Schumacher.
For 1996, Williams clearly had the quickest and most reliable car. ["GP.Com > Features > News Feature > Review of 1996 http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00244.html GrandPrix.com] Coulthard had left Williams to join
Mika Häkkinenat McLaren, Williams replaced the Scotsman with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, while Hill remained with the team. Schumacher left Benetton to join Ferrari. Williams won the first five Grands Prix, Hill winning all but one of them. Olivier Paniswould take victory at the sixth round in Monaco after seriously wet conditions forced both Williams cars to retire. Hill would retire for the second time in a row after he spun off in Spain, while his team mate, Villeneuve, took third place. Hill and Villeneuve dominated the next Grand Prix in Canada, with a 1-2 in qualifying and a 1-2 in the race. Williams made it a second 1-2 after Hill won the French Grand Prix. Villeneuve won his second race in F1 at Silverstone after Hill retired with a wheel bearing failure on lap 26. The Brit would be victorious in the next Grand Prix in Germany while Villeneuve would win the race after that in Hungary. Schumacher’s Ferrari would then take the next two Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza. Villeneuve mounted a title challenge going into the final race of the season at Japan, but Hill reasserted his dominance to take the race and the 1996 title, while Villeneuve lost a wheel and retired.
Williams' dominance was such that they had clinched the constructors' championship and only their drivers had a mathematical chance of taking the title, several races before the season concluded. Around that time,
Frank Williamsannounced that Hill would not be re-signed after his contract expired, despite Hill's successes and eventual drivers' championship, so he joined Arrowsfor 1997. Also, Adrian Neweyhad ambitions to succeed Patrick Headas technical director, but this was blocked as Head was a founder and shareholder of the team. McLarenlured Newey away, though he was forced to take gardening leavefor the 1997 season.
For what would be the final season of Williams-Renault and a car designed with Newey's input,
Frank Williamsbrought in German Heinz-Harald Frentzen, under the impression that he could perform better than Hill. Frentzen, however, proved to be a disappointment and won only one race in his two year spell at Williams, which was at 1997 San Marino Grand Prix. Jacques Villeneuvewon seven races during the season, with his main rival, Michael Schumacherof a resurgent Ferrari, winning five. Williams also achieved the 100 race win milstone at the British Grand Prix. Coming to the final round of the season at Jerez, Schumacher lead the Canadian by 1 point, however on lap 48, Schumacher and Villeneuve collided. Schumacher was disqualified from second place in the championship as the accident was deemed by the FIA as "avoidable", ["Review of 1997" [http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00278.html GrandPrix.com] . Retrieved 14 July 2006] Williams won the constructors title for the second time in a row, scoring 123 points, while Jacques Villeneuve won the driver’s championship by three points to Michael Schumacher, who kept his points total despite being removed from second place, with Williams team-mate Frentzen a further thirty six points behind.
After 1997, the team were unable to maintain their dominance in Formula 1 as Renault ended their full time involvement in Formula 1, and
Adrian Neweymoved to rival team McLaren. Williams then had to pay for Mecachromeengines, which were old; rebadged Renault engines. ["News Feature > Mecachrome" [http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00283.html GrandPrix.com] . Retrieved 14 July 2006] Both these meant that the car not only featured a very similar aerodynamic package to their 1997 car, but also virtually the same engine, leading to some to comment that they ran what was virtually the same car, adjust for the 1998 regulations. There were changes on the sponsorship front however as Rothmansopted to promote their Winfieldbrand, which ended the popular blue and white livery. ["Technical > FW20" [http://www.grandprix.com/ft/ft00284.html GrandPrix.com] . Retrieved 14 July 2006] For 1998, Williams kept the two drivers from the previous season. While Ferrari and McLaren battled for the constructors' and drivers' titles, Williams fell to the mid of the field. The team won no races and took 3 podiums during the season, with Frentzen finishing in third at the first round in Australia and Villeneuve finishing third in Germany and Hungary. Williams finished third in the constructors championship, scoring 38 points, while Villeneuve finished fifth in the driver’s championship with 21 points and his German team mate, Frentzen, finished 4 points behind him in seventh.
In 1999, Williams employed a completely new driver line up, Villeneuve moved to new team, BAR and Frentzen moved to Jordan. Williams brought in German
Ralf Schumacherand Italian Alex Zanardi. The team managed three podiums, all scored by Ralf Schumacher, with third place in Australia and Britain, along with a second place in Italy. The team finished fifth in the constructor’s championship, the lowest finish for Williams in the 1990s; the team finished behind Stewart and Jordan; scoring 35 points (all by Schumacher), 3 less than the previous season.
BMW and Cosworth (2000–2006)
BMW, BMW in motorsport"
During 1998, the team signed a long term agreement with
BMW, with the German manufacturer supplying engines and expertise for a period of 6 years. As part of the deal BMW expected at least one driver to be German and Ralf Schumacherwas signed. In 1999, the team had a Williams car with a BMW engine testing at circuits, in preparation for a debut in 2000. Williams sought the services of Colombian Juan Pablo Montoyaas a proven racer for the up coming season but he was initially unavailable, so Britain's Jenson Buttonmade his debut instead.
BMW Williams' first season did not see a single victory during the season, they did however, manage to get on the podium three times,
Ralf Schumacherresponsible for all three. Williams finished third in the constructor’s championship, with 36 points; one more than last year. Ralf Schumacherfinished fifth in the driver’s championship, while Button, in his debut season, finished three places behind in eighth.
In 2001 Button moved to Benetton-Renault due to Montoya's arrival at the team. The FW23 won four races, three by
Ralf Schumacherat Imola; Montreal and his home Grand Prix in Germany. His teammate, Montoya, was victorious at Monza, and would have won a few more races if not for the FW23's unreliability and pit crew blunders. The car proved to be quicker than the Ferrari and McLaren counterparts in several races, but Williams' 2001 campaign only yielded third place in the constructor’s championship.
For 2002, Williams kept their 2001 driver line up for the upcoming season. The team only won one race, which was at Malaysia, one of only 2 races not won by Ferrari in a year dominated by the Ferraris of
Michael Schumacherand Rubens Barrichello. ["Schumacher paints F1 red" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/2282980.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] Williams did improve on their constructor’s championship position, finishing in second. Montoya finished third in the driver’s championship, eight points ahead of Ralf Schumacher, who finished fourth.
2003 would see BMW Williams reach their peak of success, during pre-season,
Frank Williamswas very confident that the FW25 would challenge for the title. ["Williams launch new car" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/2712997.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] The team won four races, Montoya winning twice at Monaco and Germany, while Ralf Schumacher won at the Nürburgring and the following race at Magny-Cours. Montoya stayed in contention for the driver’s championship during the season, the Colombianfinished third in the championship, 11 points behind Michael Schumacher, while the younger Schumacher finished 24 points astern of Montoya in fifth. Williams finished second in the constructor’s championship, two points ahead of McLaren. 2004At the start of the 2004 season it was announced that Montoya would be moving to McLaren in 2005. The team began the season with a radical nose-cone design, known as the " Walrus-Nose", that proved uncompetitive and was replaced by a more conventional assembly in the second half of the year. Ferrari for the third time running, dominated the season, winning 15 of the 18 races, Williams did however pick up a win during the season, which was at the final race in Brazil, Juan Pablo Montoyawinning the race by a second to Kimi Räikkönen’s McLaren. Another memorable part of the season was when both Williams and Toyota were disqualified from the Canadian Grand Prix after it was discovered that both cars had brake irregularities, the brake ducts seemingly not conforming to regulations. Williams finished the season in fourth, scoring 88 points and finishing on the podium six times. While Montoya was the highest placed Williams driver that year, finishing in fifth position; scoring 58 points.
For the 2005 season, Schumacher moved to Toyota; while Montoya moved to McLaren. Taking their places were
Australian Mark Webberand German Nick Heidfeld. ["Webber signs to BMW WilliamsF1" [http://www.castrol.com/castrol/genericarticle.do?categoryId=9000062&contentId=7000426 Castrol.com] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] ["BMW sign Heidfeld for new F1 team" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4251472.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved July 13 2006] Initially Jenson Buttonwas to have driven for Williams in 2005, ["Williams firm on Button" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/3541856.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] but an FIAruling allowed Button to remain with his current team BAR. ["Williams: BAR can have Button but..." [http://www.crash.net/news_view.asp?cid=1&id=117774 Crash.Net] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] Nick Heidfeldcompeted with Brazilian test driver Antônio Pizzoniafor the remaining racing seat during December 2004 and January 2005, and Heidfeld was chosen, ["Williams give Heidfeld more time" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4056723.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] partly in preference to BMW’s wishes for a German driver. Pizzonia served as the test driver for the team during the 2005 season. Meanwhile, Button signed a contract to drive for Williams in 2006.
During the course of the 2004 and 2005 F1 seasons,
BMW Motorsportand director Mario Theissenincreasingly became publicly critical of the WilliamsF1 team’s inability to create a package capable of winning the constructors championship, or even multiple victories within a single season. ["BMW: Williams must improve" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/3036349.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006] Williams, on the other hand, blamed BMW for not producing a good enough engine. ["Williams criticises partner BMW" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4075286.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 27 July 2006] Williams' failed attempt to prise Jenson Buttonout of his BAR contract may also have been an issue with Theissen, as his preference was to have at least one German driver in the team. Despite Frank Williams' rare decision to cave in to commercial demands by employing German driver Nick Heidfeldwhen he allegedly preferred Antônio Pizzonia, the fallout between BMW and Williams continued through the 2005 Formula One season. This public deterioration of the relationship between BMW and WilliamsF1 was a factor in the decision by BMW Motorsport to buy Sauberand rebrand that team to feature the BMW name. ["BMW buys Sauber to form own team" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4118472.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006]
Williams could have opted to continue with BMW engines in 2006, despite the fact that the engine manufacturer was about to set up its own team. In the end, though, WilliamsF1 opted for
CosworthV8 engines for 2006.
This period (f1|2000–f1|2005) saw Williams depart from the standard livery scheme in motorsport, which consists of one colour scheme, either the teams' or the major sponsors', with smaller logos in their own scheme. BMW stipulated that, and paid for, the whole vehicle to be in blue and white, with other sponsors adopting this scheme. Also in 2000, Williams abandoned tobacco advertising in favour of
Information Technologycompanies, as the team’s second major sponsor became Compaq. That sponsorship lasted until Compaq’s acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. At the 2002 British Grand Prix, the team debuted the Hewlett-Packard sponsorship. After complaints about the HP logo on the rear wing it was replaced in 2003 with the sponsor’s tag line, "Invent".Fact|date=August 2008 One of the most memorable results of this technological partnership was a worldwide television commercial featured drivers Ralf Schumacherand Juan Pablo Montoyaseemingly driving their BMW Williams cars around a track by radio control from a grandstand. ["Hewlett-Packard Corporate- HP Technology and BMW Williams F1 Team" [http://www.visit4info.com/details.cfm?adid=9340 Visit4Info.com] . Retrieved 19 July 2006]
This "clean" image allowed Williams to sign a cigarette anti-craving brand,
Niquitin, ["GlaxoSmithKline" [http://gsk.com/ControllerServlet?appId=4&pageId=402&newsid=158 Gsk.com] . Retrieved 19 July 2006] and Anheuser-Busch, alternating with the Budweiser beerbrand ["Anheuser-Busch, Inc.: Budweiser sponsors BMW WilliamsF1 Team" [http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=105445 prnewswire.co.uk] . Retrieved 19 July 2006] and Sea WorldAdventure Parks, ["SeaWorld Adventure Parks To Be Featured With BMW WilliamsF1 Team" [http://www.anheuser-busch.com/news/SW_BMW_GrandPrix063005.htm Anheuser-Busch.com] . Retrieved 19 July 2006] in compliance with trademark disputes or alcohol bans.
Cosworth"The 2006 season saw Nico Rosbergreplace Nick Heidfeld, who departed for BMW Sauber, while Mark Webberstayed on with the team. Despite having signed a contract to race for Williams, Jenson Buttondecided to stay with BAR for 2006 as it was to become a Honda works team. In September 2005 a deal was reached to allow Button to remain with BAR, with Williams receiving around £24m, some of it paid by Jenson himself, to cancel this contract.
Cosworthentered a partnership agreement where Cosworth would supply engines, transmissions and associated electronics and software for the team. ["Williams turn to Cosworth engines" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4153236.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved 13 July 2006/] Major sponsors Hewlett Packard(HP) concluded sponsorship agreements one year before their official end of contract. The WilliamsF1 team also switched to Bridgestonetyres.
The season started well, with both drivers scoring points in the opening race of the season, and Nico Rosberg setting the fastest lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, the rest of the season was very disappointing, with 20 retirements out of 36 starts for the two cars. The team failed to finish on the podium all season, the first time since Williams’ first season in 1977. The team eventually finished eighth in the constructors’ championship, with only 11 points.
Toyota (2007 onwards)
Toyota& Toyota F1"
Following Williams' worst points tally since 1978, the Grove-based team announced that Japanese car manufacturer Toyota would be supplying the engines for the 2007 season. ["Williams sign Toyota engine deal" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/5219520.stm news.bbc.co.uk] . Retrieved
27 July 2006.] Along with Toyota supplying engines to the team, a number of other changes were announced for 2007: Alexander Wurz, who had been a test driver at Williams since 2006, became the team’s second driver to replace the outgoing Mark Webber; Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima, son of Satoru, replaced Wurz as a test driver alongside Karthikeyan. Sponsorship also saw a change in 2007, as it was announced that AT&Twould become the title sponsors for the team from the upcoming season. ["AT&T Title Sponsor for WilliamsF1" [http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s107/st106353.htm from sportnetwork.net] Retrieved 20 October 2006.] AT&T were previously involved as minor sponsors with the Jaguar and McLarenteams, but moved to Williams following McLaren’s announcement of a title sponsorship deal with Vodafone, a competitor of AT&T. ["Vodafone will be McLaren’s Title Sponsor" [http://newsonf1.net/2005/news/12/dec14mc.htm from newsonf1.net] 20 October 2006.] On February 2, the new FW29 was presented to the media in the UK. Soon afterwards the team secured a sponsorship deal with Lenovowho built the team's new supercomputer.
Rosberg and Wurz gave Williams a more productive season in terms of points and in Canada the
Austrian scored the team's first podium finish since Nick Heidfeld's second place finish at the 2005 European Grand Prix. Over the course of the year Rosberg was consistently in the points, scoring 20 during the season, in comparison teammate Wurz who finished in the points three times. Following the announcement that Wurz would be retiring from the sport, [cite news| title =Wurz confirms immediate retirement from F1| publisher =autosport.com| url =http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/63165| date = 2007-10-08
accessdate =2007-10-08] Williams brought in their young test driver Nakajima to drive the second car for them in the final race in Brazil. The Japanese driver finished in tenth despite starting from near the back of the grid, while Rosberg enjoyed his best race of the season, finishing in fourth. Williams finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship that year.
For the F1|2008 season, Williams have confirmed Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima as their race drivers. Rosberg was confirmed as staying with Williams until the end of F1|2009 on
December 9 2007, ending speculation that he could take Fernando Alonso's vacated seat at McLaren. [cite news| title =Rosberg agrees new Williams deal| publisher =British Broadcasting Corporation | work = BBC News Online | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7135142.stm | date = 2007-12-09| accessdate =2007-12-09] During the Winter testing sessions, the team ran six different liveries to celebrate their thirtieth year in the sport and their 500th Grand Prix. [cite news| title = Williams to run six different liveries this winter| url = http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2008/01/14/williams-to-run-six-different-liveries-this-winter/ | publisher = GPUpdate.net |date = 2008-01-14 | accessdate = 2008-01-15]
Overall, Williams had enjoyed a good start to the 2008 the season, with Rosberg winning second place at the season opening Melbourne grand prix since his debut in F1|2006 and Kazuki Nakajima in 6th. Frank Williams had admitted that he had regretted parting with BMW but stated that Toyota has tremendous ability to become a top engine supplier. Speculations had been surrounding Toyota's future at the formula 1 grid. This was due to the fact that for a big budget team, Toyota had only managed 2nd place as the best result.
Formula One results
WilliamsF1 Grand Prix results" (results for Williams Grand Prix Engineering/WilliamsF1, 1977–2008)
Frank Williams Racing Carsfor that team’s results from 1975 to 1976.
Other motorsports and Williams-branded cars
Group B rallying
The Metro 6R4 rally car was developed by Williams in 1984 on commission from Rover. The
rally carwas a Rover Metrowith a completely new V6engine ( mid-engined) and four-wheel drive, developed to the international Group Brallying regulations. Williams developed the car in just six months.
British Touring Car Championship
Williams Touring Car Engineering were
Renault's official entry to the British Touring Car Championshipbetween 1995-1999. The Renault Lagunabased cars were produced at Williams' Didcotfactory (the Formula One team having recently moved to new premises at Grove). The touring car venture was very successful, Williams-Renault won the Manufacturers title in 1995 and 1997 and the BTCC drivers title with Swiss Alain Menuin 1997.
Le Mans 24 Hours
Prior to their F1 partnership, Williams Motorsport built
Le Mans Prototypes for BMW, known as the V12 LM and V12 LMR. The V12 LMR won the 24 Hours of Le Mansin 1999. The car was driven by Pierluigi Martini; Yannick Dalmasand Joachim Winkelhock, [cite news | title = BMW wins at Le Mans | url = http://www.autosport-atlas.com/article.asp?id=6423 | publisher = Autosport | date = 1999-06-13 | accessdate = 2006-11-14] and operated by Schnitzer Motorsportunder the name of BMW Motorsport.
Renault Clio Williams
Williams's name and logo were used on the Renault Clio Williams. However, no input was provided by Williams into the development of the car. [cite web|url=http://www.channel4.com/4car/gallery/gallery.jsp?id=22&page=10|title=www.channel4.com/4car/gallery/gallery.jsp?id=22&page=10 |accessdate=2007-05-15]
* [http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-willi.html GrandPrix.com]
* [http://www.formula1.com/insight/team/4.html www.formula1.com]
* [http://www.castrol.com/castrol/managedlistingsection.do?categoryId=8262008&contentId=7014635 Castrol.Com] "Williams History (1967-2000) Taken from:"
* [http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s107/st4062.php Williams Team History 1967-77]
* [http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s107/st4063.php Williams Team History 1977-88]
* [http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s107/st4065.php Williams Team History 1996-2000]
"All Formula One race and championship results are taken from":
* [http://www.formula1.com/archive/team/detail/1975/4/92.html Formula1.com - 1975-Present Archive] . Retrieved 12 July 2006
Petrobras, a team's sponsor [http://www.mywire.com/pubs/Crash/2004/06/11/662823?extID=10037&oliID=229]
* [http://www.attwilliams.com/ Official Team Website]
* [http://www.attwilliamsclub.com/ Official Club Website]
* [http://www.furtive.co.uk/WilliamsF1/ Photos from the Williams F1 Museum]
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