Atlas F1 - The 2001 Teams

Williams

The FW24 Car Specifications

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    Transmission: WilliamsF1 semi-automatic

    Clutch: AP

    Chassis: Carbon Aramid epoxy composite, manufactured by WilliamsF1

    Suspension: WilliamsF1

    Steering: WilliamsF1

    Cooling System: Two water radiators, two oil radiators either side of the chassis

    Brakes: Carbon discs and pads operated by AP calipers

    Lubricants: Castrol

    Fuel: Petrobras

    Wheels: O.Z.; 13 x 12 front, 13 x 13.7 rear

    Tyres: Michelin Pilot

    Cockpit Instrumentation: WilliamsF1 digital data display

    Steering Wheel: WilliamsF1

    Driver's Seat: Anatomically formed in carbon/epoxy composite material with Alcantara covering.

    Extinguisher Systems: WilliamsF1/Safety Devices

    Paint System: DuPont Cromax

    Front track: 1,460 millimetres

    Rear track: 1,400 millimetres

    Wheelbase: 3,140 millimetres

    Weight: 600kg including driver and camera weight

    Overall Car Length: 4540 millimetres


    Engine: BMW V10, 3 litre normally aspirated

    Technical Specification: 10 cylinders in V configuration, normally aspirated

    Cylinder Angle: 90

    Displacement: 2,998 cc

    Cylinders: Four valves per cylinder

    Valve Drive: Pneumatic

    Engine block: Aluminium

    Cylinder Head: Aluminium

    Crankshaft: Steel

    Oil System: Dry sump lubrication


    Team Principals

    Frank WilliamsChief Executive - Frank Williams

    Frank Williams' determination to battle against the odds was never more clearly illustrated than by the courageous way he fought back after suffering serious injuries in a car crash just before the start of the 1986 season. The accident, just outside the Paul Ricard circuit in France, left him confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life. It was an accident that so nearly claimed his life, but instead of bemoaning his fate he fought his way back to lead Williams Grand Prix Engineering in the only way he knew how.

    Frank Williams was born on 16 April 1942 at South Shields on the Southern shores of the River Tyne. His mother was a school teacher and his father a pilot in the RAF. He went to boarding school in Dumfries, Scotland where he first read about motor racing. He soon developed a very keen interest in the sport following the exploits of the likes of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins and in 1958 he attended one of his very first races - the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which was won by Collins driving the Ferrari.

    He was completely hooked and spent all his free time hitch-hiking around the country watching racing, often spending hours on wet, cold and dark roads waiting for a lift. He left school and started work as a management trainee with the Rootes Group dealer in Nottingham, although his spare time was spent following motor racing.

    As soon as he was old enough for a licence he was racing, starting with an ex-Graham Hill Speedwell Austin at Oulton Park in 1961. Little did he realise then that he would later provide Graham's son, Damon, with the cars which would take him to his first Grand Prix victory, and his 1996 World Championship crown.

    He was always having a financial fight to continue racing and, despite some good Formula Three results, especially in Scandinavia, Frank Williams began to realise his real talent lay in preparation and team management. He'd also moved to a flat in Pinner Road, Harrow, on the outskirts of London.

    He shared this flat with a number of other hard-up occupants, who lived on their total enthusiasm for motor sport. It was crowded so Frank slept on the settee, but he also established a spare parts business from that address which was the very foundation for Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

    Formula One was always Williams' ambition and this he realised in 1969. Up to then he had prepared a variety of cars for other people and ran his own Formula Two team, with his close friend, Piers Courage, driving. His foray into Formula One with Courage was with a private Brabham and their efforts were rewarded with eighth overall in the 1969 Drivers' Championship.


    Patrick HeadTechnical Director - Patrick Head

    Patrick gained an early interest in motor racing from his father's racing career, principally in Jaguar sports cars in the 1950's. After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from University College London, Patrick raced karts and competed in some rallies before realising that his talents were not being put to good use behind the wheel. From early 1970, Patrick worked for Lola Cars alongside John Barnard on a variety of machines including Indy, Can Am and two litre sports cars. Following this Patrick assisted Ron Tauranac at Trojan, designing Formula 5000 and Formula One cars.

    As an extension of his continued interest in sailing, Patrick became involved in boat building before he teamed up with Frank Williams in 1975. After a season with Walter Wolf Racing, the duo set up Williams Grand Prix Engineering in March 1977 and competed with a second hand March.

    The first Patrick Head designed Formula One car, the FW06, appeared in 1978. A year later his designs were winning Grands Prix and two years after that, won both the Driver and Constructor World Championships for the first time.

    Patrick was born in Farnborough, Hampshire on 5th June 1946. He currently lives with his wife and son in London and enjoys cycling and sailing.


    Gavin FisherChief Designer - Gavin Fisher

    After graduating from Hatfield Polytechnic in 1986 with a First Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Gavin spent three years working for a design consultancy before joining WilliamsF1 as a Designer in May 1989.

    Appointed Chief Designer in 1997, Gavin leads a team of around 15 designers and is responsible, in conjunction with the Chief Aerodynamicist, for the overall design of the WilliamsF1 chassis and for its development throughout the season

    Born in Harrow, Middlesex on 30th August 1964, Gavin now lives in Wiltshire with his wife and three children. His hobbies are based around two-wheeled modes of transport - motocross and mountain biking.


    The Drivers

    Click on the thumbnail to view the image in full size

    Ralf Schumacher
    see bio

    Juan Pablo Montoya
    see bio

    Marc Gene


    Team Milestones

    Tragedy struck the team in 1970 when Courage was killed in the Dutch Grand Prix driving a car Williams was running for the Italian de Tomaso factory. Williams battled on despite this personal loss, but was always struggling with an inadequate budget and at times only sheer optimism and drive kept the team going.

    After a disappointing partnership with Austro-Canadian oil man Walter Wolf in 1976, his new team, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, was set up in 1977 and acquired a March for Patrick Neve to drive. Frank recruited some of his faithful mechanics plus a promising racing car engineer named Patrick Head.

    Patrick was in the process of designing a new car for 1978, his first Grand Prix design, and by the start of the season Williams had found sponsorship to tempt the Australian, Alan Jones, to join the team. It was from there that the Didcot, Oxfordshire, based team never looked back, for the Williams FW06 was extremely competitive with Jones at the wheel.

    In 1979 Jones continued as team leader with Clay Regazzoni in a second car. The team had really arrived at the British Grand Prix in 1979 when, after Jones disappointingly retired from the lead, Regazzoni was able to drive to victory - the first ever for Frank Williams. The trend was to continue as Jones won four of the six remaining races that year.

    Williams emerged in the 1980s as the team to beat and a reliability record unequalled by any other team helped them to sweep to unchallenged and crushing victories in the Constructors' Championships of 1980, 1981, 1986 and 1987. In 1981 the team received the first of two prestigious Queen's Award for Export Achievement (the second being awarded in 1994) and Frank Williams was made a CBE in the 1986 New Year's Honours List.

    In 1982 the team aimed to become the first manufacturer to win the Constructors' title for a third consecutive year. It wasn't to be but newly-signed Finn, Keke Rosberg, who replaced the retiring Jones, won a close fought Drivers' World Championship.

    Grand Prix racing's normally aspirated era was coming to an end and in 1983 it proved an uphill struggle, although Rosberg did win in great style at Monaco. Williams then announced a new association with Honda and the Anglo-Japanese turbo combination first appeared at Kyalami in South Africa.

    In 1984 the team was on a 'learning curve' with turbo cars but the season was highlighted by Rosberg's Dallas win. The team also moved into a superb new custom-built racing facility just a mile from their original home at Didcot.

    In 1985 the team had a new colourful image; Keke Rosberg had a new team-mate in Nigel Mansell; and the car, the Williams-Honda FW10, had an all-new carbon fibre chassis. The season started slowly but reached new heights as the two drivers climbed to the top of the victory rostrum no less than four times. Rosberg won the USA East Grand Prix, Mansell's two consecutive wins at Brands Hatch and Kyalami were particularly sweet as they were his first in Formula One and Rosberg's victory in Australia ensured a Williams hat-trick to round off the season.

    Williams welcomed Brazilian former World Champion, Nelson Piquet, to Didcot for 1986, a worthy replacement for Keke Rosberg. He quickly adapted to the FW11 and took the new car to victory in their debut race in Brazil. The team went on to win nine Grands Prix in 1986 (five by Mansell and four by Piquet) and secured the prestigious Constructors' World Championship.

    Success continued in 1987 with the team winning nine races again (six by Mansell, three by Piquet) with the modified FW11. This time they made sure of not only the Constructors' but also the Drivers' Championship, with Piquet taking his third title and Mansell runner-up for the second consecutive year.

    For 1988 there were many changes. Mansell was number one and he had a new team-mate in the vastly experienced Italian, Riccardo Patrese. Also the four year association with Honda ended and the team used the normally aspirated 3.5 litre Judd engine in their FW12. Unfortunately mechanical problems dogged the team's efforts during the year but despite this Mansell finished second at both Silverstone and Jerez, with Patrese achieving his season best with a fourth in Adelaide.

    Frank was aware that to win in the new era of Formula One, with everyone running normally aspirated engines, backing was needed from a major motor manufacturer. This ambition was realised in July 1988 when he signed a three-year deal with Renault for the supply of their new V10 engines. The initial deal was for exclusivity only for 1989, but at the Canadian Grand Prix that year Renault announced that again in 1990 and subsequently 1991 also, the team would be the sole recipients of the engine.

    Patrick Head, the team's Technical Director, designed the FW13 chassis specifically to house the new Renault engine and Belgian driver, Thierry Boutsen, joined the team in 1989, replacing Nigel Mansell and partnering Riccardo Patrese. This proved a popular and successful choice, and at a very wet Canadian Grand Prix he scored his very first Grand Prix win and also the first for the new Williams Renault partnership. Boutsen also went on to notch up his second victory at the final race of the year in Adelaide, again in atrocious weather conditions. It was also a great year for Patrese. He appeared on the rostrum six times, led several races, finished third in the Drivers' World Championship and helped the team to runner-up spot in the Constructors' World Championship.

    1990 got off to a good start with Boutsen third in his Williams-Renault FW13B in Phoenix and then, at the third race of the year, the San Marino Grand Prix, there was a fairytale story with Patrese winning his third Grand Prix; his previous victory had been seven years earlier. Boutsen's turn came in Hungary where he claimed his first ever pole position and went on to win an impressive green light to chequered flag victory. These two wins and several other podium placings meant at the end of the season the team finished fourth in the Constructors' World Championship.

    Halfway through the 1990 season Mansell, who subsequently won 28 Grands Prix for Williams, announced his retirement after a disappointing British Grand Prix whilst driving for Ferrari. The Williams team persuaded him to change his mind and he re-signed for the team for whom he had won more Grands Prix than any other driver and this was announced on the 1st October.

    Mansell had his first taste of the Williams Renault FW13B at the Estoril track on 20 November 1990, and then eagerly awaited the completion of the Williams Renault FW14, the latest offering from Patrick Head (who by now also had Adrian Newey on his design team) with a brand new Renault RS3 engine and a semi-automatic gearbox.

    The 1991 Canon Williams team proved a winning combination, with Mansell scoring five and Patrese two victories. The team proved the only real competition to McLaren and were runners-up to them in both the Constructors' and Drivers' World Championships, with Mansell and Patrese second and third respectively in the latter.

    The tide turned in 1992. At the first race in South Africa Mansell and Patrese finished first and second with the Williams-Renault FW14B fitted with active suspension.

    This began a five race winning streak for Mansell, who became the first driver to win the opening five races of a season. His record breaking did not stop there and he became the first driver to win nine races in one season and to be on pole 14 times. His win at the British Grand Prix was his 28th, beating Jackie Stewart's record for the British driver with the most Grand Prix victories.

    When Mansell came second in Hungary he clinched the Drivers' World Championship, the first British driver to do so since James Hunt in 1976. In Belgium Williams and Renault took the Constructors' title, the first ever for Renault, and to end the winning year Patrese finished runner-up to Mansell for the Drivers' crown. The car was fitted with the Renault RS3C engine initially, but in the latter part of the year the RS4 was used.

    For 1993 it was all change in the driver line-up, with French three-times World Champion, Alain Prost, and Williams test driver, Damon Hill, taking over from Mansell and Patrese. They carried on where Mansell and Patrese left off, retaining the Constructors' title, while Prost clinched his fourth drivers' title and Hill won his first Grand Prix in Hungary.

    But soon after clinching the title Prost decided to make the '93 season his last in competitive racing, leaving the door open for three-times World Champion, Ayrton Senna, to join the Williams team. So the 1994 championship battle started with the new look Rothmans Williams Renault team and drivers, Ayrton Senna and Damon Hill, ably supported by official test driver, David Coulthard.

    At the third Grand Prix of the year at Imola in Italy Ayrton Senna was killed while leading the race when his car left the circuit at the notorious Tamburello corner and crashed into a concrete wall. The world of motor racing was stunned and the close-knit Williams team was shattered by the tragic death of the driver who many people regarded as simply the best. The fight back of the Williams team typified the bravery and leadership of Frank. As a mark of respect the team only ran one car for Hill in Monaco and then four weeks after that tragic day in Imola, Hill won the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and promptly dedicated his victory to both Ayrton and the team.

    For this race Hill was partnered by David Coulthard, who drove car No. 2 for eight of the remaining races. For the other four races in France, Spain, Japan and Australia Nigel Mansell came back from the USA, where he was racing in the Indy Car series. After the win in Barcelona, Hill scored another five victories but lost the championship by a single point to Michael Schumacher following a controversial collision at the last race in Adelaide, which was eventually won by Mansell. In such a tragic year it was testimony to the strength of the team that they retained the Constructors' World Championship, to close a season that will never be forgotten.

    For 1995 it was Hill and Coulthard who drove for the team in the Williams Renault FW17 and between them notched up five victories, with the young Scot taking his first Grand Prix win in Portugal. Hill was the only driver to challenge Schumacher for the drivers' title, but had to accept defeat when the German won the title for the second year at the Pacific Grand Prix in Aida. Although losing both titles was a disappointment to the team, Hill made sure they went out on a high with a fine win in Adelaide.

    Halfway through the year Jacques Villeneuve, son of the late Gilles Villeneuve, came over to the UK from the USA to have a test in the Williams car at Silverstone. This happened on the 1st August and by the 16th of that month the Indianapolis 500 winner was confirmed as Hill's partner for 1996. The 24-year-old Canadian then went on to win the Indy Car crown and his defection to Formula One renewed interest from across the Atlantic in the championship.

    By 1995 Williams Grand Prix Engineering had grown to a company employing over 240 people and the team's Didcot HQ was rapidly becoming too small to house everyone. A search for a suitable new base was made and midway through 1995 the ideal place was found about 10 miles from Didcot at Grove. This was a 28 acre site, formerly the HQ of a pharmaceutical company. Over the '95/'96 winter the team moved with the final phase being the transportation of the wind tunnel over the weekend of the 1996 San Marino Grand Prix. The new Grove factory was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on Tuesday 29th October and at a ceremony and lunch attended by representatives from all the team's partners and sponsors, over 20,000 was raised for the team's official charity, the Spinal Injuries Association.

    The team tested variations of the FW17 during the winter months and on the 12th February 1996 the Williams Renault FW18 was finally shown to the world in Estoril.

    The team had a successful test with the new car but it was not until the first race in Melbourne that the car's true potential was shown. The new boy Jacques was the star of the show, claiming pole. With Damon second on the grid, the pair were over half a second quicker than the nearest opposition. They continued their domination in the race and eventually Damon won, with Jacques second after the Canadian had to slow down in the closing laps and relinquish his lead due to an oil pipe problem. This success continued with Damon also winning in Brazil and Argentina and then Jacques winning his first ever Grand Prix in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring circuit. The team went on to win 12 of the 16 races - Damon eight and Jacques four - and the Constructors' Championship was sewn up by the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The Drivers' Championship was led from start to finish by Damon, with Jacques second, but was taken down to the wire with the final race in Suzuka seeing the title settled. Damon needed just one point to win and for Jacques it was a win or nothing. In the end Damon led the race from the lights to the chequered flag while Jacques retired with a wheel nut problem. This was Damon's first and the team's sixth Drivers' World Championship.

    Damon was only on a one-year contract with the team and just before the Italian Grand Prix it was announced that he would not be staying with the team. His replacement, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, was announced on the 4th September. Meanwhile, Jacques was on a two-year deal with the team so his drive for '97 was re-confirmed.

    The first test for Heinz-Harald was on the 22nd October at Estoril and from there the team embarked on their usual intensive winter testing schedule in preparation for the new car - the Williams Renault FW19 - not expected until late January. In 1996 the team said goodbye to Damon who had been with them as a test and racing driver for six years, Elf who had been supplying fuel and oil for eight years, and in August Renault announced that 1997 would be its last season in Formula One.

    The 1997 season promised to be very competitive. The Schumacher/Ferrari combination was looking extremely strong and the first race was won by David Coulthard who was now driving for the McLaren team. Williams fought back but by mid-season still trailed championship-leaders Ferrari. There were celebrations at Silverstone when Williams achieved its 100th Grand Prix win at the scene of its first victory 18 years previously. This gave the team an unequalled wins/starts ratio of 1:3.

    The famous Williams determination had kicked in and by round 14, the Austrian Grand Prix, the team was back at the top of the championship table where it would stay. The Constructors' World Championship was sealed at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 12th. This was Williams' ninth title and the team now leads second-placed Ferrari and McLaren in the record books. An emotional World Championship victory for Jacques in the last race at Jerez sealed the delight of the entire team.

    A change of name and image in 1998 brought Williams a change of fortune. The Williams FW20, in the striking red and white livery of title sponsor Winfield, was unveiled at Silverstone on 28th January 1998 and looked to be immediately on the pace. Unfortunately the competition had shifted up a gear and by the first Grand Prix in Australia it looked like the West McLaren Mercedes team were going to walk away with the World Championships. A mass of new regulations in 1998 had presented all the teams with many new challenges including a reduction in the width of the car from two metres to 1.8 metres, more stringent crash testing and grooved tyres. McLaren had simply adapted best to the changes and the rest of the field was left to play 'catch-up'.

    A tyre war between the outgoing Goodyear Racing Team and Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone had begun to rage with Bridgestone having the upper hand early in the year. Even though Goodyear's withdrawal from Formula One had recently been announced the American company fought back and by the end of 1998 it was widely felt that the Goodyear tyre was the best.

    Williams had said goodbye to Renault in 1997 after a tremendously successful partnership that brought nine championship titles to the two companies. Williams would race with Mecachrome/Supertech engines before new Technical Partner, BMW, makes its return to compete in Formula One racing in the year 2000. Without an engine partner, the team had a hard fight on its hands to compete with the dominant McLaren and the hard charging Ferrari team.

    By the close of the season, it was McLaren and Ferrari challenging for the Championships whilst the Winfield Williams team found itself in the fight for third place. Developments to the FW20 gave the team the push it needed and third place in the Constructors' Championship was duly secured. 1999 looked set to be another tough year for the team but there would be a few changes.

    Reigning CART Champion Alex Zanardi and Ralf Schumacher were announced as Williams' 1999 drivers on 22nd September 1998. Jacques Villeneuve was to move to the new BAR team whilst Heinz-Harald had joined the Jordan team. Zanardi was making a return to Formula One after three successful years across the Atlantic driving for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team. He would be the teams' second 'transatlantic' champion - the first being Jacques Villeneuve. Schumacher had spent two successful years with the Jordan team where his best result was second place in the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix. Both had the reputation of 'racers' so the team was complete and ready for the fight back up the grid. Along with new drivers, Williams will have a new name in 1999. Williams Grand Prix Engineering was now known as Winfield WilliamsF1.

    Alex Zanardi had a difficult season. Coming from the CART series to the modern Formula One threw the Italian onto a very steep learning curve. The advent of grooved tyres and narrow track cars in 1998 had forced the drivers to change their technique to control these new machines. Zanardi had to catch up with the learning process fast.

    Bad luck dogged his early season but the turning point came at the Belgian Grand Prix when he was finally on the pace. A strong performance at the next race in Italy looked like the tables were turning but further disappointments, ending with an electrical problem on the first lap of the last race in Japan, finished off a miserable season for the Italian...

    Schumacher though was to become the star of the year, putting in stunning performances, regularly scoring points and, at the European Grand Prix, his finest moment almost came but he was robbed of victory by a puncture. His strong racing skills earned him sixth position in the Drivers' World Championship and fifth place in the Constructors' Championship for the team.

    With the start of the new millennium, a new era began for WilliamsF1. After almost two years of backstage work, BMW returned to the Formula One arena with the WilliamsF1 team. The partnership, planned for five years, got off to a very promising start in 2000 with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team taking third place in the Formula One Constructors' World Championship.


    Related Links

    The 2002 Williams Launch Pictures
    The 2002 McLaren Launch News Report
    The official BMW-Williams web site
    The unofficial Williams Database web site
    The official Ralf Schumacher web site
    The official Juan Pablo Montoya web site
    Williams Statistics on FORIX


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