Williams FW10
Williams FW10 Honda Collection Hall
Constructor Williams F1
Designer(s) United Kingdom Patrick Head
Predecessor FW09B
Successor FW11
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1985
Constructors Canon Williams Honda Team
Drivers 5. United Kingdom Nigel Mansell

6. Finland Keke Rosberg

Debut 1985 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races 16
Wins 4
Poles 3
Fastest Laps 4
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

The Williams FW10 was the Formula One car built and raced by the Williams team for the 1985 Formula One season. It was upgraded to FW10B specification later in the season.


1985 marked Williams' second full season with Honda turbo power. 1984 had been difficult, as the FW09 struggled to cope with the enormous power and brutal torque curve, leading to handling problems which afflicted drivers Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite throughout the season.

Technical Director Patrick Head thus decided to make the FW10 stiffer by making the monocoque entirely from carbon composite, rather than the aluminium honeycomb construction of previous years. This construction technique had been pioneered by the McLaren team with their MP4/1 in 1981, and was in the process of being adopted by the other teams for its combination of exceptional stiffness and lightness. In total, nine tubs were built; one was sent to Japan for Honda test driver Satoru Nakajima to drive, and one was a prototype to test the construction process.

The Honda engine proved to be extremely powerful, if not as reliable as the championship-winning TAG-Porsche turbo engine in Alain Prost's McLaren MP4/2B, with Head claiming around 1000-1250 bhp in qualifying, and up to 900 bhp (670 kW) in race configuration.

Racing HistoryEdit


The team had a much better season than in the previous two years, scoring four wins and taking third place in the Constructors' Championship. During the early part of the season the cars made do with upgraded 1984 engines. Honda introduced a completely new RA165-E engine at Detroit and instantly the cars were on the pace, with both Rosberg and Mansell expressing delight in the power of the new engine and how much easier it was to drive being less 'peaky' with a much smoother power delivery.

Rosberg won at Detroit early on, whilst developments to the engine in the final stages of the season saw the FW10 win the final three races. Mansell, having joined the team from Lotus at the beginning of the year, won his first Grand Prix with the updated FW10B in home territory at Brands Hatch, before following it up immediately with another win at Kyalami. Rosberg then won his 5th and last Grand Prix at the last race of the season, at Adelaide.

During qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Keke Rosberg lapped the 4.719 km (2.932 mi) circuit in his Honda powered FW10 in a time of 1:05.591 for an average speed of 160.9 mph (258.9 km/h), the first time a Formula One car had broken the 160 mph barrier for a qualifying lap. Rosberg's lap at Silverstone was all the more impressive given that he was on slick qualifying tyres at a time when the track was damp from light rain, and that he also had a deflating tyre for most of the lap. This record would stand until Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya lapped Monza in his V10 BMW powered Williams FW24 at 161.449 mph (259.827 km/h) during qualifying for the 2002 Italian Grand Prix.

During the 1985 season, two of the chassis were written off in accidents: the first when Nigel Mansell went head-on into a barrier at Detroit, the second when he crashed heavily at Paul Ricard due to a high-speed tyre blowout.

Despite winning the final three races of the year, the team's early season reliability was still not as good as some of its rivals, and the car proved difficult to drive in wet conditions and at tight circuits with earlier-specification engines, such as at the Portuguese and Monaco Grands Prix.

After years of running predominantly white cars with British Racing Green coloured sign writing, this was the first Williams car to wear the distinctive Yellow-Blue-White livery that regardless of sponsors, would become characteristic of the team until the end of the 1993 season.

Technical specificationsEdit

Component Specification
Chassis Moulded Carbon composite monocoque
Front suspension Double wishbone, rocker-operated inboard spring damper
Rear suspension Lower wishbone, rocker-operated inboard spring damper/Double wishbone, pullrod-operated inboard spring damper
Brakes AP Racing carbon brake discs
Tyres Goodyear
Weight 545 kg (1,202 lb)
Engine Honda RA163-E, 1,494 cc (91.2 cu in), 80° V6, turbo, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Gearbox Williams / Hewland 6-speed Manual
Gears 6
Fuel Mobil


Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1985 Canon Williams Honda RA163-E
V6 tc
United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ret 5 5 7 6 Ret DNS Ret 6 Ret 6 11 2 1 1 Ret
Finland Keke Rosberg Ret Ret Ret 8 4 1 2 Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret 4 3 2 1


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