|Full Name||Williams Grand Prix Engineering|
|Base||Grove, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom|
|Founder(s)||Sir Frank Williams|
|Noted Staff||Adrian Newey|
|Noted Drivers||Alan Jones|
|Formula One World Championship|
|Years Active||1977 - 2013|
|Debut||1977 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Constructors' Championships||9 (1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997)|
|Drivers' Championships||7 1980, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997)|
|Final race||2013 Brazilian Grand Prix|
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited, is a Formula One motor racing team and constructor. It was founded and run by Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head. The team was formed in 1977 after Frank Williams' two earlier teams Frank Williams Racing Cars (1969 to 1975) and Walter Wolf Racing (1976). All of Williams chassis are called "FW" then a number, the FW being the initials of team owner, Frank Williams.
Frank Williams started 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 Racing and moved to Didcot to rebuild his team as "Williams Grand Prix Engineering". Frank recruited young engineer Patrick Head to work for the team, creating the "Williams-Head" partnership.
Williams kept drivers Riccardo Patrese and Thierry Boutsen for the 1990 season along with the FW13 car now upgraded to the FW13B. Although Patrese won the San Marino Grand Prix and Boutsen 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.
Both Mansell and Patrese left Williams at the end of 1992. Alain Prost was signed after a year away from the sport and test driver Damon Hill was promoted to replace them both for 1993. The new FW15C car would prove to be dominant with active suspension and traction control systems beyond anything available to the other teams. 1993 would prove to be the final year with Canon and Camel as the main sponsors for the team. Prost won on his debut for the team in South Africa. 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 in second place. Prost won three of the next four Grands Prix for Williams, Aytron Senna winning the other race. Prost and Hill later scored a 1–2 in France, the only 1–2 of the season for Williams.
Prost won the next two Grand Prix at Silverstone and Hockenheim. Hill proved competitive, especially in the second half of the season. Mechanical problems cost the Englishman leads in Britain and Germany, but he went on to win the next three Grands Prix at Hungary, Belgium and Italy which moved him to second in the standings, as well as giving him a chance of taking the drivers' title. After Italy, Williams would not win a Grand Prix for the rest of the season, however Prost clinched the Driver's Championship in Portugal and they retained their constructor's title, 84 points ahead of second placed, McLaren.
In 1995 Coulthard moved into a permanent race seat alongside Hill. The Benetton team switched to Renault power for this year and would prove to be very competitive. Hill secured the first wins of the year for Williams in Argentina and San Marino. He would go onto win two more races later in the year at the Hungaroring and in Adelaide, the latter where Hill finished two laps ahead of the field in one of Formula One's most dominating victories. Coulthard secured his debut victory at Estoril, however this would prove to be his only victory for the team, leaving for Mclaren in 1996.
Although Williams were superior in qualifying trim, taking a total of 12 pole positions, Schumacher was usually more competitive on race day, and won nine races against Williams' combined total of five. Due to this Williams' run of Constructors' Championships was ended by Benetton, who outscored Williams by 29 points. Damon Hill placed second in the Drivers' Championship, 33 points behind Benetton's Michael Schumacher.
In 1996 Williams entered the season with the quickest and most reliable car, the FW18. Damon Hill stayed with the team while Canadian 1995 CART champion Jacques Villeneuve was brought in to replace Coulthard. Williams won the first five Grands Prix, Hill winning all but one of them, the other going to Villenueve. They both dominated the Canadian Grand Prix, with a 1–2 in qualifying and a 1–2 in the race. Williams made it a second 1–2 at the French Grand Prix. Villeneuve won his second race at Silverstone after Hill retired with a wheel bearing failure on lap 26.
Hill would be victorious in the next Grand Prix in Germany while Villeneuve would win the race after that in Hungary. Villeneuve won the penultimate Grand Prix and mounted a title challenge going into the final race of the season at Japan, but Hill won 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. There were two major departures at the end of the year, Hill left as his contract expired and joined the Arrows team while chief designer Adrian Newey departed for rivals McLaren.
Complete Formula One ResultsEdit
- Main article: Williams F1 Grand Prix results