Constructors Who Have Won in F1 - Williams


Valued Member
Williams (113)

After setting up a team which turned into Wolf in the mid-70s, Frank Williams entered his new team into the Championship with a single car in 1978. Alan Jones was the driver, and the FW06 was piloted to a second place at the US East Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, ahead of Wolf! The FW07 of Patrick Head and Neil Oatley was a definite improvement. Double-retirements at its first two races in the second quarter of 1979 were mere teething problems, Clay Regazzoni's 2nd place at their first finish was more indicative. Regazzoni's win at Silverstone started the rot, and Jones won the next three in a row, and then after defeat at Monza took the Canadian Grand Prix too. Retirements at the Glen failed to destroy their promise.
Thus Jones won from pole at Buenos Aires in the first race of 1980. There was a double podium at Spa before Carlos Reutemann won at Monaco. Jones took the win in France, and then again in Britain. Though there would not be a win until the penultimate race in Canada, consistent point scoring in between including a load of podiums kept Jones close enough to win the title at Montreal. And he won the final race at Watkins Glen too!

They opened 1981 in similar fashion with a Jones headed one-two at Long Beach followed by a Reutemann one-two in Jacarepagua. Three races later Reutemann won at Spa but there would be only consistency until the end of the season. That was enough to take the Constructors Championship, but Reutemann finished outside the points at Las Vegas as Nelson Piquet took the title. Jones won his last race for the team.

For 1982, in came Keke Rosberg. And two races in, out went Reutemann. He was replaced by Irishman Derek Daly (after a single race with 1978 Champion Mario Andretti). Daly scored sporadically and never better than 5th place, but Rosberg scored consistent podiums. Williams were becoming a typically consistent team, and in a chaotic year Rosberg's maiden win at the Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon (in France!) added to his other scores to give him the title.

1983 saw a Williams team unable to cope with the turbos around them, with Rosberg's win at the famously non-engine dependant Circuit de Monaco the highlight. Whats more, an old car saw gremlins creep in by the end of the season. The reliability had gone for Williams-Honda in 1984, with Rosberg's win at Dallas a sole highlight. Rosberg was joined by Nigel Mansell for 1985. A win in Car City itself (Detroit) was the highlight of the first half of the season before they found their form at the end of it. Mansell won his first race at Brands Hatch and doubled Lotus boss Peter Warr's embarrassment by leading a one-two home at Kyalami. Rosberg took his final win in his final race for Williams at Adelaide.

In came 1981 and 1983 World Champion Nelson Piquet. He won at home at Rio. Mansell took another double at Spa and Montreal, and won the French and British Grands Prix in succession. Piquet responded by winning in Germany and at the inaugral Hungarian Grand Prix. Monza saw Piquet win, and Estoril was Mansell's for the year. In Adelaide, either could have won the title, but Mansell's tyre blew and Piquet was pitted as a precaution. Williams won the Constructors' title, but Prost had defended the Drivers' crown from under their nose. Frank Williams' injuries in a road accident which leave him disabled to this day could not have improved the mood.

1987 promised much, then. And though the champion got a good start in Rio, Mansell won at Imola. The next three poles, partly due to reliability, did not yield any wins but Masnell won from pole at Paul Ricard before defeating Piquet in a classic at Silverstone. Piquet hit back at Hockenheim, and again won at the Hungaroring. Mansell won at the Osterreichring, then Piquet at Monza. Williams' six-in-a-row was broken at Estoril, while Mansell took the win at Jerez. Mansell moved within range of the more consistent Brazilian by winning in Mexico, but his inability to attend the final two races saw Piquet take the title despite finishing neither, before he left for Lotus.

Williams lost their Honda engines for 1988, and the Judd engines were not sufficient to power them anywhere near the dominant McLaren. They finished 7th in the Constructors' Championship [they wouldn't do worse until 2006!]. They had 5 engine failures in the 3-leg North American tour. Mansell twice finished second, and his team-mate Riccardo Patrese only scored minor points. Thus Mansell left for Ferrari and was replaced by Thierry Boutsen. There was a one-two in Canada, and Boutsen won his second race at Adelaide securing Williams a recovery to second behind McLaren. The same partnership could only secure 4th in the Constructors Championship in 1990, again with two wins (for Patrese at Imola and Boutsen at the Hungaroring).

Mansell returned to Williams-Renault in 1991. A difficult start to the season was caused by unreliability, but the car was fast. Patrese led home a one-two at Mexico, before Mansell won the next three in France, Britain and Germany. Mansell later won at Monza and Barcelona sandwiching a Patrese win in Estoril, but it was too late and Senna took the title for McLaren.

1992 would be different. Williams lead each lap of 1992 until lap 71 of the Monaco Grand Prix (the sixth). Mansell had won the first 5 from pole, and it took all Ayrton Senna's considerable skill to deny him in Monte Carlo. A double retirement in Canada preceded Mansell winning from pole at Magny-Cours, Silverstone and Hockenheim. They were denied in the next three races by Senna and Michael Schumacher, but Mansell won the title in the first of these in Hungary. His win in Estoril, as well as Patrese's win at Suzuka simply capped a dominant season

Mansell went off to CART and was replaced by the unretired Alain Prost. He was joined by Damon Hill in car #0. The Frenchman won from pole at Kyalami. Senna won the next two, but Prost won at Imola and Barcelona. Monaco saw another Senna victory, so Williams won the next seven races. The first four (Montreal, Magny-Cours, Silverstone and Hockenheim) were Prost's last Grand Prix wins as he became the first F1 driver to 50 wins. The next three (Hungaroring, Spa and Monza) were Hill's first three. Prost won the title finishing second to Schumacher at Estoril before Senna won his last two races.

Prost retired and was replaced in F1's hottest seat by Senna. However, Senna was killed at the third race at Imola with 3 poles and no points. After an emotional Monaco Grand Prix, Schumacher had won the first 4 for Benetton. Hill won the team's first of the year in Spain, and backed it up with an emotional win at Silverstone. Unfortuanately, he was 30 points down. A ban for Schumacher gave Hill the chance to catch up though. Schumi was first disqualified from a win in Belgium, giving Hill the laurels. Then Hill won Monza and Estoril (the latter a one-two with new team-mate David Coulthard). Schumacher and Hill won at Jerez and Suzuka with the other second to take the title race to Adelaide. There was a collision, both retired and Schumacher was the champion despite allegations of cheating. "Guest" driver Nigel Mansell won his final Grand Prix. Williams had won the Constructors Championship.

Hill won in Buenos Aires and Imola to give himself an early Championship lead after 3 races of 1995. Schumacher though applied the pressure thoroughly. Hill's win in Hungary was not enough to arrest the slide. Coulthard won his first race at Estoril, and Hill won the final race at Adelaide. But Schumi had won 9! Schumacher's departure to Ferrari did not help Benetton, and Williams had the field clear for 1996. Coulthard was replaced by Jacques Villeneuve as he headed to McLaren. Villeneuve had problems to blame for not winning on debut in Melbourne, but Hill won the first 3 races. Villeneuve won at the Nurburgring, then Hill at Imola. Monaco and Barcelona were wet and unsuccessful, but Hill won the next two dry races in Montreal and Magny-Cours. Villeneuve responded in kind by winning Hill's home race. Hill won in Germany and Villeneuve in Hungary. Two retirements and a Villeneuve win in the next three brought Hill within range, but his win in Suzuka secured his title, with Villeneuve not finishing. Then Hill was sacked!

He was replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Australia saw a shock win for Coulthard, so Villeneuve opened his account with two South American victories. Frentzen won at Imola, and after a continuation of Williams' poor Monaco record, Villeneuve won in Spain. But a visit to the wall of champions for Villeneuve let Schumi into the title race. The Canadian won in Britain and Hungary (in the latter pipping Damon Hill's Arrows), and in both Austria and "Luxembourg" [ie. the Nurburgring!]. But a disqualification at Suzuka turned a one point lead into a one point deficit. Thus when Villeneuve overtook Schumacher on lap 47, the German steered into the Canadian eliminating only himself. Villeneuve finished third to the two McLarens and took the title. Williams' last.

By 1998 a new formula, combined with old Renault "Mechachrome" engines left Williams behind Ferrari and their old designer Adrian Newey at McLaren. Villeneuve secured three podiums in the red Williams cars. He left for the new BAR team in 1999 while Frentzen moved to Jordan. Frentzen's seat was swapped with Ralf Schumacher. Both exceeded expectations. Villeneuve was replaced by Alex Zanardi, a legend in North American racing but who never took to F1. Neither scored points. There were three podiums for Ralf, who was kept on to 2000.

Ralf was joined by a young Jenson Button and BMW engines. Again there were three podiums, but Williams were surprisingly, in a transitional year, third in the Constructors' Championship. In 2001 they teamed up with Michelin tyres too, and farmed Button off on loan to Benetton, replacing him with promising Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya should have won in Brazil but was taken out by Jos Verstappen. Schumacher won his first race at Imola. Their other three wins underlined their engine's superior speed, Schumacher winning in Canada, capitalsing on Montoya's engine failure to become the last winner at old Hockenheim and Montoya taking his first win in an emotional post-9/11 race at Monza.

For 2002, Williams had the second best car, enough to secure a one-two with Schumacher in front at Sepang. The story of 2002 would be one-twos with a Schumacher in front, but not Ralf. 2003 was to be their last title attempt [to date]. After a slow start to the season, Montoya's victory at Monaco [Williams' first there since 1983] their season exploded into life. Schumacher won the European and French Grands Prix, and Montoya won by a minute at Hockenheim. However, Ferrari's renewed form meant that Michael Schumacher would have seen off Montoya's threat by the final race.

It started going wrong with the walrus-nose FW26 in 2004. As Ferrari dominated, it secured a few podiums. By the last race in Brazil, Ferrari had dominated, the walrus nose had gone. Montoya, off next to McLaren, won the race just ahead of his new team-mate Raikkonen. Williams' final win to date. For now, that is where the story ends.
Top Bottom