Monday , 24 June 2024
©Jack Amey

Williams Preview Event

For those that know me well, you’ll know I’m a massive Williams fan and a big fan of F1 history, so when Williams announced a free British Grand Prix preview event I was all for it. So here are some pictures, thoughts and stats of all the cars at the event.

The event itself was absolutely fantastic, while only a small handful of stands were open, they were all packed, with a lot of things to keep kids occupied around the track as well. F1 cars weren’t the only thing on track as well, there was a JCB doing wheelies and shooting out more smoke than a McLaren Honda.

Williams also had the BMW V12 LMR on track, the 1999 Le Mans winner jointly built by BMW and Williams F1. There was also the Jaguar Formula E car and various Jaguar road cars in the pits, though they did not run out on track.

If more teams could have an event like that, F1 would be in a great place.

Also, some of the cars I wasn’t able to get pictures of, the FW18/19 in particular had a lot of people outside the garages in the pit lane and they were only static cars, never managed a clean enough shot!

March 761

Years – 1977
Drivers – Patrick Nève
Races – 11
Points – 0

The first car raced by the newly formed Williams Grand Prix Engineering team, the 761 was raced by the March Engineering team in 1976, winning the 1976 Italian GP, which was the final win for the March team. For the Williams team and Patrick Nève the car wasn’t so great, scoring no points with a best finish of seventh and three DNQs, even with Patrick Head using his genius to modify the car.


©Jack Amey

Years – 1978 to 1979
Drivers – Alan Jones, Clay Regazzoni
Races – 20
Points – 15

The FW06 was the first car designed for the Williams team, for those that know less F1 history, Frank Williams had a team before the current Williams team, known as Frank Williams Racing Cars, this is where the previous FW numbers are and why FW06 is the first for Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Anyway, the car was entered as a single car entry for 1978 with Alan Jones at the helm and was a fairly good car, while it couldn’t keep up with the frontrunners it had three points scoring finishes in 1978, one being a second place, and a further podium in 1979 in the final running of the car.

FW07 (and FW07B and FW07C)

Years – 1979 to 1982
Drivers – Alan Jones, Clay Regazzoni, Carlos Reutemann, Keke Rosberg, Mario Andretti
Races – 43
Wins – 15
Championships – 2 Constructors’, 1 Drivers’
Points – 300

A big step forward for the Williams team, the first win for the car came in the fifth race, and then it won the three after that as well, finishing the season second in the Constructors’ Championship, not bad for a team in their third year. For 1980 the car was upgraded to B spec, winning six races that year, their first Constructors’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship for Alan Jones. In 1981 the C spec model came out and while not quite as successful as the B spec it still won the Constructors’ Championship and Reutemann was just two points away from the championship. In 1982 the car was still going, but just for the first three races, taking home two second places.


Years – 1982
Races – 0 (banned before it could be raced)

While the FW08 and FW08C raced in F1 neither were at the Williams event on Friday, so I won’t bother talking about them. The FW08B was the second six wheeled car made by Williams, the first being the FW07D that nobody ever seems to either know about or mention. The car has the four rear wheels driven, and as a result incredible grip, apparently setting very competitive times in testing but was banned before it could actually be raced, meaning that the Tyrrell P34 is the only six wheeled car to race, though not the only one built. Ferrari had an attempt at six wheels with their 312T6, which had just two axles as normal, but on the rear four tyres on a single axle, similar to vans. March also made a six wheeled F1 car with the 2-4-0, a similar layout to the FW08B with two rear axles.


Years – 1985
Drivers – Nigel Mansell, Keke Rosberg
Races – 16
Wins – 4
Points – 71

Sadly only a static car at Silverstone so I never saw it on track, but a great car nonetheless. The first of the white, blue and yellow Williams cars and the first “Red 5” Mansell car, though not the one everyone remembers. The car had four wins, two each for Mansell and Rosberg and finished the Constructors’ Championship in third.


Years – 1986 to 1987
Drivers – Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese
Races – 32
Wins – 18
Championships – 2 Constructors’, 1 Drivers’
Points – 278

At this point in their history the FW11 was their most successful car, winning over half of the races it entered, both Constructors’ Championships and the 1987 Drivers’ Championship, and could have also had the 1986 Drivers’ Championship had Nigel Mansell’s tyre not exploded in Adelaide. In the 32 races the car entered only seven of those it didn’t finish on the podium, or three races that the car finished in the points but did not have a podium.


©Jack Amey

Years – 1992
Drivers – Nigel Mansell, Riccardo Patrese
Races – 16
Wins – 10
Championships – 1 Constructors’, 1 Drivers’
Points – 289

Much like with the FW08B earlier, the car on show was particularly the FW14B, so the stats above are just from the 1992 season. The 14B was an incredible car, one of the most advanced F1 cars, even today, active suspension, semi-automatic gearbox, traction control and for a while anti-lock brakes. All of that incredible technology, in the early 90s, with a Newey designed car? It took 15 pole positions of the 16 races in 1992, and not only that but at the British GP they took the front row by almost 3 seconds, that’s just incredible. The car on show at Silverstone on Friday hadn’t turned a wheel in over 20 years, and every single time it came out and went back into the pits every single person sat at Club was applauding.


Years – 1996
Drivers – Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve
Races – 16
Wins – 12
Championships – 1 Constructors’, 1 Drivers’
Points – 175

Another dominant Williams championship winning car and another iconic livery. Statistically it’s the greatest car Williams have ever made, 12 wins from 16 races, 75% win rate and an impressive 21 podiums. The car started off very strongly and won the first five races of the season, with Villeneuve taking pole at his very first race and almost winning the race as well. While it didn’t have the technology of the FW14B (active suspension was banned), it was still an incredible Newey designed car and took Damon Hill to his championship in dominant fashion. Williams won both championships, scoring 175 points in total, Ferrari were second and only scored 70 points.


Years – 1997
Drivers – Jacques Villeneuve, Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Races – 17
Wins – 8
Championships – 1 Constructors’, 1 Drivers’
Points – 123

The FW19 was largely an evolution of the highly successful FW18, but it was nowhere near as strong as their previous car. It still won both championships, but not a record breaker, Villeneuve only won the championship by a handful of points, though Schumacher was disqualified for trying to take him out to win it for himself, and Ferrari were only 20 points short of the Constructors’ rather than the 100 points difference in the previous year.


Years – 2012
Drivers – Pastor Maldonado, Bruno Senna
Races – 20
Wins – 1
Championships – 0
Points – 76

The last Williams car to win a race, their last win before 2012 coming at the end of 2004. The car wasn’t great, only finishing eighth in the Constructors’ Championship and only scored a single podium, but that one podium it got was magical. Maldonado took pole at the Spanish GP, helped by Hamilton being excluded for having an underfuelled car, then somehow won the race the next day as well, battling Fernando Alonso on the way. Other than that one race there isn’t really much about the car, a third of the points scored for Williams that season came from that one race.


©Jack Amey

Years – 2014
Drivers – Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas
Races – 19
Wins – 0
Championships – 0
Points – 320

In recent years the FW36 is the best Williams car, while not a race winner like the FW32 it took Williams to nine podiums, one pole position and third in the Constructors’ Championship, their best finish since 2003. The big step forward was largely due to the fairly dominant Mercedes hybrid engine, but the car itself was still strong, particularly in low drag conditions.

About JackStatMan

The F1StatMan, mostly known for coming up with useless F1 related stats about burgers.

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