One of the most legendary F1 teams in the sport today, Williams F1 was founded by Sir Frank Williams, with Patrick Head as co-founder and after winning the Jacques Villeneuve’s Drivers World Championship race in 1997, have won more than 100 Grands Prix. Now ranked alongside other legends such as Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes, Williams F1 also boasts of five Constructors’ World Championship wins, making them the dominating force in the 90s.
Being the only independently owned team, Williams F1 team has seen some of the sports greatest drivers take the helm. Some of them include Alain Prost, Damon Hill, Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg, all whom have won the Drivers’ World championship with the team. Another legend, Ayrton Senna tragically died in his very first season with Williams F1, in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg are the current drivers for the team, which is based in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK. With Toyota engines, Williams has seen its fair share of engine manufacturers, right from Honda, Judd, Mecachrome, Ford and even Renault in the 80s. In 1998, during their deal with German automobile giant BMW, which lasted 6 years, Williams had to include at least one German driver as part of the team, according a clause in their deal. This led to Ralf Schumacher and Nick Hiedfeld to be a part of Williams at different points of time during the deal. During the early years of the partnership, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya were Williams BMW team drivers, both nearly capturing the title. With Ferrari taking the honors in both cases, Williams’ association with Toyota is now starting an upward swing.
Till 1997, Williams held the record for most number of Constructor’s World championships, numbering to nine, but was overtaken by Ferrari in 2000. Most of their Constructor’s World championships were won by the popular duo Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, who were part of the Magnificent Four as well, consisting of Alain Prost with McLaren and Ayrton Senna with Lotus, apart from the Williams’ duo. Prost and Senna were dominant in the Drivers’ World championships, even though Mansell and Piquet remained a strong force in the Constructor’s World championships.
Having entered the Formula One arena back in 1977, their first victory came in the 1980 season, when Australian ace Alan Jones won both the Drivers’ and the Constructors’ World championship titles. Since then the team has participated in over 508 races, and has bagged an impressive 113 race wins. Placing immense importance on team spirit, team owner Frank Williams’ consistent backing has produced amazing results. Even with giants such as Ferrari and McLaren, Williams holds its own, being the most recent entrant compared to them, and also in terms of performance. This season Williams will showcase two sons of Formula One drivers, Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg.