Current Williams

Williams Grand Prix Engineering

FIA Entry: AT&T Williams
Car 11: Rubens Barrichello
Car 12: Pastor Maldonado
Engine: Cosworth V8
Team Principal: Frank Williams
Director of Engineering: Patrick Head
Technical Director: Sam Michael
Race Engineer Car 11: Tony Ross
Race Engineer Car 12: Tom McCullough

Stats as of end 2010

First Entered 1977
Races Entered 539
Race Wins 113
Pole Positions 126
Fastest Laps 130
Driver World Championships 7
Constructor World Championships 9

Team History

The Early Years

Like many team owners and principals Frank Williams started life as a driver and mechanic. Realising his ability as a driver wouldn't allow him to reach the levels he hoped Williams set up Frank Williams Racing Cars and in 1969 entered a Brabham chassis for Piers Courage. Through to 1976 Williams entered customer cars from other manufacturers before settings up Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1977 with Patrick Head.

Williams Grand Prix Engineering

In 1977 Williams GPE entered a March 761 for Patrick Neve. In 1978 Patrick Head designed his first Williams car, the FW06, driven by Australian Alan Jones The car scored it's first points at the South African Grand Prix and Jones took Williams first podium at Long Beach, finishing 2nd behind Carlos Reutemann in a Ferrari.

In 1979 the FW07 chassis debuted and Williams had grown into a 2 car team with Clay Regazzoni joining Alan Jones. Regazzoni scored Williams first Grand Prix victory at Silverstone and Jones took another 4 victories that season. Continuing with the FW07(in A and B spec) in 1980 Jones, now partnered by Carlos Reutemann, won 6 races (5 for Jones and 1 for Reutemann) with Jones winning the drivers title and Williams the Constructors Championship.

With the FW07 in C & D spec Williams won 4 more races and again took the Constructors Championship in 1981 but missed out on the Drivers Title. Continuing with Cosworth power in 1982 Williams moved onto the FW08, a car originally designed as 6 wheeler, and Keke Rosberg joined Carlos Reutemann. Reutemann retired 2 races into the season and Mario Andretti stood in for a single race before Derek Daly permanently replaced Reutemann. Rosberg only managed a single win at the Swiss Grand Prix 1982 but it was enough for him to win the Drivers Championship.

Having driven for Frank Williams back in 1974 and 1975 Jacques Laffite partnered Keke Rosberg in 1983. Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix with Cosworth power and by the end of the season Williams had moved to Honda turbo power and the FW09 chassis. 1984 continued the pattern of 1 win per season for Rosberg and the Williams team with Keke taking first place in Dallas.

The Honda Era

Nigel Mansell joined Williams in 1985 and the team, still with Honda turbo engines, won 4 Grand Prix. Piquet replaced Rosberg for 1986 and between them Mansell and Piquet won 9 of the 16 races and Williams the Constructors Championship. 1987 saw another 9 victories for the team and another victory in the Constructors Championship as well as Piquet winning the Drivers Title

The departure of Honda as engine supplier and Piquet as a driver in 1989 saw Williams move temporarily to Judd engines and Mansell, now partnered by Riccardo Patrese, had a very lean season with their highest finish only 4th.

Renault Power

Williams secured Renault V10 power for 1989 and the next 9 season proved to be Williams most successful. They won 63 Grands Prix, 5 Constructors Championship (1992, 93, 94, 96 & 97) and 4 Drivers Titles (Mansell 92, Prost 93, Hill 96 and Villeneuve 97). Other winners for Williams in this period of dominance included Riccardo Patrese, Thierry Boutsen, Heinz Harald Frentzen and David Coulthard. This period was also touched by tragedy when Ayrton Senna lost his life in a Williams car at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in 1994

The withdrawal of Renault from F1 in 1998 moved Williams into another barren spell as the cars were powered by ageing Renault engines produced by Mecachrome (98) and Supetec (99).

BMW Williams

Williams changed to BMW V10 engines in 2000 and returned to the winners circle in 2001 with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel. The partnership with BMW continued until 2006 with Williams winning 10 Grands Prix and were runners up in the Constructors Championship in 2002 and 2003. Ralph Schumacher drove for Williams for 6 season and was partnered by Alex Zanardi, Jenson Button (debuting in F1 in 2000) and Montoya with Mark Gene and Antonio Pizzonia making occasional appearances as stand in drivers. BMW's final season with Williams saw Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld taking podiums but able to not challenge for wins.

Toyota Customer

A season of Cosworth power in 2006, with Mark Webber joined by F1 new boy Nico Rosberg, proved very unsuccessful and in 2007 Williams became customers of Toyota. As one of the few truly independent teams still competing in F1 Williams struggled to compete with the factory supported teams and were probably best categorised as "the best of the rest". Webber left at the end of 2007 and Rosberg, initially partnered by Alex Wurz and then by Toyota "works" driver Kazuki Nakajima, managed a highest finish of 2nd in Singapore 2008 with Williams finishing 4th, 8th and 7th in the Constructors Championship whilst using Toyota power.

In 2009 Williams sold a minority share in the company to an Austrian investment company led by Toto Wolff.

Williams Cosworth

In 2010 Williams returned to Cosworth engines and signed up Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg to drive for them. Hulkenberg took a surprising pole in changeable weather conditions in Brazil to give Williams their first such grid position since Nick Heidfeld in 2005. Although regular points finishers Williams weren't challenging for wins and finished the season 6th in Constructors Championship.

2011 sees Rubens Barrichello retain his seat at Williams with GP2 Champion Pastor Maldonado alongside him. They will continue with Cosworth engine power.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Personally, I wish Claire all the best in the future. She took over at an incredibly difficult time, in an era where you cannot possibly compete against a manufacturer (Mercedes) who has a defense-program sized budget.

With the passing of the Williams team, the last reason for my giving even a rodents rump about F1 is now gone.

The decline of F1 since the turn of the century has been dramatic and is accelerating. It now bears absolutely no relationship with previous eras when independent entrants had a chance and when a driver could make a world of difference, and IMO, is much the poorer for the change.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
It is very sad that Williams will be no more, but we have lost other great teams. Things change. Clare Williams is right, it’s time for her to go. My impression of her has always been that she’s a decent human being, much to nice to run an F1 team.
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
Yet it has been time for her to go for some time, that's what saddens me. That and my feeling that they should've just turned their backs on F1 years ago.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
everyone loves williams because of what they were. a huge part of F1 history

but its way of F1. its priced out the great underdogs & for me F1 has lost abit of joy & its soul. its like having an FA cup with just Premier league & Championship clubs. you need underdogs in a sport as as many people remember underdogs as the winners
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Yet it has been time for her to go for some time, that's what saddens me. That and my feeling that they should've just turned their backs on F1 years ago.
Maybe if they had given it to Jonathan things might have been different. They had glimpses of revival but they were false dawn
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
I have always meant every word I have said about Claire Williams, I feel no guilt and I have no intention of reviewing any of my posts to see if I should.,
I second that Claire Williams will be remembered as being in charge of the team and presiding over their demise to ultimately being sold

It was inevitable the decisions taken over the last 7 years which she would have an influence on pushed them down this route if it was not selling out to Maldanado's dodgy Venezeulan money, Lawrence Stroll or Latifi's dad it would have been a manufacturer or another business who would have bought the team.

The Williams family are use to making the final decisions for the team I guess they have been overruled by the new owners (Bernie) over the direction of the team and could not accept it being told what to do when they have always run it as a family business.

I can feel sorry that F1 loses another great name just like Lotus disappeared from F1 probably after the next Concorde agreement expires
but not Claire Williams for how she ran the team. People point the finger at Paddy Lowe for designing a poor car last year but its clear that she did not command authority and respect within Williams and outside for these things to happen.

In Bernie's language "Its dog eat dog and survival of the fittest" to succeed in F1.

Its the same in any business if the leader is not good enough or not the fit then you have to replace them which is probably happening right now in everyone's employers at the moment

I've seen the Williams documentary a few years back and it does bring a tear to my eye seeing how Frank fought for everything to make his team
work and his late wife had to be the rock in the marriage and put up with it but also the internal disagreement between Claire and Jonathan over who should be running the team.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
I've seen the Williams documentary a few years back and it does bring a tear to my eye seeing how Frank fought for everything to make his team work and his late wife had to be the rock in the marriage
that what made me sad & why i highly doubted that the line that said they had support from frank. because that very out of character & yes the documentary did make it seem the was alot of resentment between the siblings
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
that what made me sad & why i highly doubted that the line that said they had support from frank. because that very out of character & yes the documentary did make it seem the was alot of resentment between the siblings
Though some of Frank's methods would have been questionable and certainly would not get away with it today in regards to borrowing money the man had an unshakeable belief to fulfil his dream
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I'm curious: considering all of the disparaging remarks about the job Claire has done, I would like to know how many of the disparagers have owned and/or run their own business, and therefore have first-hand knowledge on what it takes to be successful.
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
I have neither owned nor run my own business, but I have been successful in many things. Your post suggests you need one for the other.
Strange.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
listening to the interview, shes done with sky. its hard not to get abit emotional as she talked about the decision to leave & what frank means to them. why she left as she says she made mistakes but she made them with great faith.

i think she was let down by her team at times. if they had a half decent chassis instead of garbage one for 3 years. they wouldve won multiple races in 2014 & 2015. history would be different. cant be forgotten that in last decade we had 198 races only 5 teams won Mercedes Ferrari Red Bull McLaren & Williams

i think she was let down by the sport, as when they won there final driver title. £3m was enough for 2 cars for a whole weekend. (judging by merc 2019 figures released today) costs £3m to run hamilton on a friday. so she was fighting a losing battle.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Personally, I wish Claire all the best in the future. She took over at an incredibly difficult time, in an era where you cannot possibly compete against a manufacturer (Mercedes) who has a defense-program sized budget.
I read yesterday that Mercedes spent £333million (or possibly $333million) to win the championship in 2019. Over 3 years, that would be a billion dollars just for 1 team. That is obscene, and thank goodness the spending cap is coming in
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The whip round the pits for a few words on Williams and Sir Frank was quite comical on Sky F1. Some people have very selective memories.
 

Dartman

Podium Finisher
Williams lost out over the rules, any inovation in the last ten years has been ruled illegal almost as soon it was presnted, in the past they have always found something, now its a $million for 0.05 a second and privateers can't afford that, just look at McLaren and the F duct (was that 10 years ago or more?). F1 has lost its way due to over regulation. Ferrari has fallen foul on the engine and yet the could complete a race on the fuel allowed WFT rules are killing the sport.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I'm curious: considering all of the disparaging remarks about the job Claire has done, I would like to know how many of the disparagers have owned and/or run their own business, and therefore have first-hand knowledge on what it takes to be successful.
What made Frank Williams respected was he did not take :censored: from anyone even his drivers and would fight hard. He would not succumb to Honda's demands over Piquet and what he was offered to keep the engines. He would not surrender to BMW who demanded more control of the team.

I think if Frank was in charge of the team it certainly would not be in the situation they find themselves in the last 3 years. Even potential sponsors would not back Williams or bail out quickly

What Claire lacks is leadership skills not because she is a woman which is no doubt what every thread including one on Facebook will degenerate into and some have said she inherited Frank's mess. Her background is PR and marketing with a degree in politics.
She got an OBE for her efforts if that is a consolation and she has done a better job than Kattenborn at Sauber.

I do not know if there people at Williams ie the engineers who don't respect her enough because she is not the right person for the role but she needed to stamp her authority. The debacle of the the car last season surely cannot be all Paddy Lowe's fault
 
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