Tag Archives: Williams

Williams announce iconic line up for Autosport International Show

1996 German Grand Prix. Hockenheim, German. 26-28 July 1996. Damon Hill (Williams FW18 Renault) 1st position. Ref-96 GER 08 World Copyright - LAT Photographic.

1996 German Grand Prix.
Hockenheim, German.
26-28 July 1996.
Damon Hill (Williams FW18 Renault) 1st position.
Ref-96 GER 08
World Copyright – LAT Photographic.

It was announced this morning by the Williams team that they will be showcasing some of its most iconic cars at next year’s Autosport International Show, which takes place 12th – 15th January 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The experiential centrepiece Williams will be creating to mark its 40th anniversary at the pinnacle of motor racing will also feature some of the most celebrated Formula One cars in the team’s history.

These will include the car that brought Williams its first race win, the FW07, Nigel Mansell’s 1992 Drivers’ Championship-winning FW14B, Damon Hill’s 1996 Drivers’ Championship-winning FW18 and the FW25.

Designed by Patrick Head and powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV V8 engine, the FWO7 was driven by Clay Regazzoni and made its debut part way through the 1979 season. With five wins from 15 grands prix, the FW07 claimed Williams’ first victory at the British Grand Prix.

The FW14B was driven by Nigel Mansell in 1992, winning a record-breaking nine races in a single season. Powered by a 3.5-litre V10 engine developed by Renault and with semi-automatic transmission, active suspension, traction control and anti-lock brakes, it was the most technically advanced car of its time. Mansell and Williams dominated the 1992 season, securing the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship with five races to go.

Statistically the most successful Williams racer, the FW18 took Damon Hill to 12 wins from 16 races, leading both Damon and Williams to another Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. With a 3.0-litre V10 engine, again developed by Renault, the FW18 is one of the most celebrated cars in the Williams Grand Prix Collection and a fan favourite.

Completing the line-up is the FW25, which was driven to victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2003 by Juan Pablo Montoya, and saw the team reach second in the Constructors’ Championship that year.

In a statement to the media today Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said the following:-

‘We get such great support from the fans and we can’t wait to be able to give something back at Autosport International. We’re looking forward to showing off some of our most famous racing cars from the past four decades. It’s also a fantastic platform for us to showcase Williams Advanced Engineering and Williams Heritage.’

Williams confirm 2017 driver line up

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Yesterday the Williams team has confirmed that 18-year-old Canadian driver Lance Stroll will drive alongside Valtteri Bottas in 2017.

Stroll, the winner of this year’s European Formula 3 championship, will replace the retiring Felipe Massa, giving Williams its first line-up change since the Brazilian was paired with Bottas in 2014. The deal keeps Bottas at the team for a fifth season following interest from Renault.

Stroll only turned 18 on October 29, which delayed Williams’ unveiling as the teenager could not be pictured with main sponsor Martini until he was of legal drinking age in the UK. He becomes the first Canadian driver in Formula One since 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, whose last race was the 2006 German Grand Prix.

The pair were unveiled at the team’s factory in Grove, Oxfordshire on Thursday. Bottas and Stroll will drive the FW40 next year, the car which will skip a number in Williams’ lineage in order to mark the team’s 40th season in F1.

When asked by the media at the official announcement yesterday, Stroll says the drive is a dream come true and is thankful for the opportunity and support the team has shown him so far in his career:-

‘To be racing in Formula One in 2017 is incredible, I can’t thank Williams enough for showing faith in my ability. Racing in F1 was something I dreamt about as a young kid. When I began karting seriously, F1 was then the ultimate goal and especially when I started racing cars in 2014.

‘2017 is going to be a big learning curve for me, but I’m eager to absorb everything Williams can share with me so that I improve. I’ll be taking things on a race-by-race, lap-by-lap basis and hopefully progress with experience like I did when I entered Formula 4 and then Formula 3.

‘I believe contesting the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for the past two years has prepared me well for the step up. There are many elements for me to learn and I’m still young. I’ve been experiencing a 2014-spec Williams FW36 since August, which has gone very well. The power is incredible. I’m learning about the car, the incredible downforce, DRS and tyre management, finding a rhythm and finding the limit. I’m becoming more comfortable and confident with each run.

Also at the announcement yesterday Williams Deputy team principal Claire Williams said the following about their driver line up next season as follows:-

‘I’m delighted to confirm that Valtteri will be racing for Williams once again next year, and be joined by Lance Stroll. Valtteri is a much-loved member of the team and his talent is unquestionable, so for him to use that experience to help lead the team forward is exciting. He has played a pivotal role in the team’s turnaround since 2014 and we are looking forward to continuing the strong relationship we have with him into the future.

‘Lance joined the Williams Young Driver Programme at the end of 2015 and has impressed our engineers with his maturity, talent and enthusiasm. We are pleased to be able to offer him the opportunity to step up and show what he can do in Formula One, after proving a dominant force in all the categories he has raced in so far. He is still young, and we looking forward to seeing him develop as a driver. Williams has a great record of introducing young drivers to Formula One, who have achieved great results, and we hope this will be the start of a long successful career for Lance as well.

‘As a team, we continue to push forward in our goal to win races and championships, and believe this exciting fresh combination will put us in a strong position to deliver on our future targets.’

Williams to announce 2017 drivers next Thursday

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The Williams Martini Racing Team will announce their 2017 driver line-up at their Grove headquarters on November 3, with Lance Stroll expected to be confirmed.

The Canadian teenager will turn 18 this weekend putting to an end any concerns about his age given that Williams’ title sponsor is Martini.

Stroll will step up into Formula 1 having won the 2016 European Formula 3 Championship with Prema Powerteam.

He will partner Valtteri Bottas, who is expected to remain with Williams despite months of rumours linking to a Renault race-seat.

Williams will make the announcement next Thursday to the media.

Williams announce Karun Chandhok as their heritage driver

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It was announced by the Williams team this morning that Karun Chandhok will be their official heritage driver for the team’s Heritage division.

The ex-Formula 1 driver in his new role will test and undertake public demonstrations of Williams’ historic racing cars.

Along with testing, Chandhok will also act as a driver coach to the various customers of Williams Heritage who have purchased a running car. Upon the announcement this morning, Chandhok stated the following:-

‘Williams is such an iconic British team, steeped in racing history so it’s a real honour to be involved in its Heritage programme.

‘So many of the Williams Heritage cars are pieces of racing history with great stories to tell, so to be offered the chance to get up close and personal and drive them – sometimes being the first person to do so in decades – is an incredible opportunity.

‘I look forward to not only demonstrating the cars from time to time, but working with other Williams car owners to help them fully enjoy their experience of driving these pieces of F1 history.’

In his own statement to the media this morning, Williams Heritage Director Jonathan Williams is equally excited to have Chandhok in the heritage division. Williams stated the following:-

‘With a wealth of experience in a wide range of championships, including Formula One, GT, LMP1 and Formula E, Karun was the ideal candidate to be our Heritage driver. What’s more, he has a real passion for motorsport history and is a font of knowledge when it comes to Formula One.’

Chandhok will continue his Channel 4 pundit role and will make his first appearance as the Williams Heritage driver at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed between June 23 – 26. He is believed to be driving the 1983’s FW08C and 1990’s FW13B during this year’s annual event.

Williams equal the quickest pit stop in F1 in Baku

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain

The Williams Formula One team equalled the record for the sport’s fastest pit stop in Sunday’s European Grand Prix.

Williams changed the tyres on Brazilian Felipe Massa’s car in 1.92 seconds, equaling the previous best on record set by the Red Bull team at the 2013 United States Grand Prix, according to statistics gathered for the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award.

Red Bull turned around Australian Mark Webber in 1.923 seconds at the American race, when pit-stop timings were logged to thousandths of a second.

Williams’ speed in the pits has been outstanding this year and they have been the fastest team at every race following a deliberate plan to improve their form.

Here’s the official times below:-

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Big congratulations to the Williams team on this fantastic achievement and it just shows all the hard work, practice, commitment and determination does pay off!

Massa unfazed about Button being linked to Williams for 2017

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In an interview with the media this week, Williams driver Felipe Massa is not worried about being replaced by Jenson Button at Williams despite speculation the 2009 champion will return to the team next season.

Button, who made his debut with Williams in 2000, looks set to be one of the main talking points in the driver market this year, as he was in 2014 and 2015 before being retained by McLaren on both occasions. He is out of contract this year and McLaren has a tough decision to make with highly-rated Stoffel Vandoorne, the 2015 GP2 champion, waiting to step up to F1.

With Fernando Alonso contracted until the end of 2017, the man who would make way for Vandoorne would be Button. If he moved to Williams it would have implications for one of the team’s current drivers, Massa and Valtteri Bottas. In his interview with the media this week, Massa is not unsettled with these rumours flying around and if he has the chance he would like to remain with Williams. Massa stated the following:-

‘For sure not. We all know about rumours in Formula One, and to be honest I am zero scared and worried about anything. I am really happy working for Williams – this is a team which gives me a lot of pleasure to work for – and I see the same with them working for me.

‘It would be nice to stay, but it would be nice to stay in a team where you really see that you can do a good job and have a good future. I am ready for everything to be honest.’

2016 Russian Grand Prix Race Review

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On Saturday, we saw Nico Rosberg taking Pole Position for the Russian Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.

After qualifying, it was announced that Lewis Hamilton will be taking a five place grid penalty due to MGU-UK problems that affected his qualifying. For more information about this, please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/hamilton-goes-back-to-melbourne-spec-engine-for-the-russian-gp/.

The start of the Russian GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The start of the Russian GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The Russian GP is underway! Nico Rosberg gets a good start off line but heading into Turn 1 was chaos. Sebastian Vettel was clipped from behind by Danill Kvyat, the man he angrily blamed for causing a Turn 1 collision in China, which bumped him into the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel’s misery was compounded at the next corner when Kvyat slammed into the back of him again which then spun the Ferrari into the wall and out of the race. This then triggered an expletive-laden radio message from Vettel who you could understand the way he reacted even though many fans disagreed with Vettel blaming Kvyat for the China incident. But on Lap six of the race, Kvyat stopped to serve a ten-second stop-go penalty in front of a grandstand of home fans.

Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg colliding with each other on Lap 1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg colliding with each other on Lap 1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

While the battle between Kvyat and Vettel was ongoing, Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez clipped Nico Hulkenberg, spinning the Force India driver around and also collecting the Manor of Rio Haryanto. While the Haas driver recovered to the pit lane for a new front wing, the incident ended the race for both Hulkenberg and Haryanto.

The safety car was deployed for two laps and after the restart, Rosberg still lead the field ahead of Valtteri Bottas reclaimed second position from Kimi Raikkonen while Lewis Hamilton overtook Massa for fourth.

Lewis Hamilton on Lap 5 of the Russian GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton on Lap 5 of the Russian GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

On Lap five, Hamilton dove down the inside of Raikkonen at Turn 5 to move up to third with a brilliant move, but Bottas’ Williams was a harder obstacle to overcome and the battle was on between both of the drivers.

Nico Rosberg leads the Russian GP on Lap 6. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg leads the Russian GP on Lap 6. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 6 of the race saw Rosberg leading the field by 2.5 seconds. There is a battle for twelfth between Nasr, Button, Wehrlein, Kvyat and Ericsson ongoing on the track. But Kvyat and Ericsson were battling each other hard for fifteenth place; with both drivers defending well from each other but Kvyat is then able to get past him despite having no traction in the corners.

We then see a battle between Raikkonen and Bottas for position on the track which both drivers defended well. But then Raikkonen finds himself under threat from Hamilton and is able to pass him for third place in Lap 7.

Lewis Hamilton after passing Valtteri Bottas on Lap

Lewis Hamilton after passing Valtteri Bottas on Lap 16. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Hamilton was finally released into second when Bottas pitted on Lap 15, but by then was 15 seconds behind leader Rosberg. Hamilton then pitted himself for soft tyres a lap later and was just beaten to Turn 2 by Bottas, though he passed the Williams driver at the same point one lap later.

By Lap 18, Rosberg still leads ahead of 15.1 seconds ahead of Raikkonen. After the pitstops on Lap 21, Raikkonen now finds himself in a net third place; with Hamilton now moving into second place and hoping to close the gap to his team mate for the lead of the race. Rosberg then pits himself on Lap 22 and still remains in the lead of the race ahead of Verstappen who hasn’t stopped yet.

Carlos Sainz Jr on Lap 26 of the race. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Carlos Sainz Jr on Lap 26 of the race. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 26 of the race saw Sainz Jr being under investigation by the stewards for forcing another driver off the track when he was trying to pass Palmer for track position and is then given a 10 second penalty for the offence. Ricciardo and Magnussen are battling each other for tenth place on the track as Rosberg still leads the race.

A few laps later, the battle for sixteenth between Nasr, Wehrlein and Kvyat is ongoing. Wehrlein tried to get past Nasr for position but made the move from too far behind and Nasr is able to defend. But the next lap sees Kvyat passing Wehrlein with a good move and is now seventeenth place.

Kevin Magnussen in the battle for eighth place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Kevin Magnussen in the battle for eighth place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 29 sees the battle for eighth between Magnussen, Grosjean, Ricciardo and Sainz Jr building up nicely. Ricciardo passes Magnussen, Magnussen regaining the position as Grosjean sees an opportunity to pass Ricciardo which he does and Sainz Jr gaining on them all the time.

Two laps later sees Perez passing Sainz Jr for track position. Lap 35 saw Max Verstappen while running sixth in the race having to retire his Toro Rosso due to engine problems. Lap 36 still sees Rosberg leading the race ahead of Hamilton by 8.2 seconds; with Hamilton catching Rosberg quickly now.

With Sainz Jr getting a 10 second penalty, both McLaren drivers could get points and it will be interesting to see how the final third of the race unfolds. It has now been reported that Hamilton has a water issue problem with his Mercedes engine and has been asked to take it easy for the remainder of the race.

Nico Rosberg wins the Russian GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Kimi Raikkonen in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg wins the Russian GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Kimi Raikkonen in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

But Rosberg leads Hamilton on the final lap of the race by 20.7 seconds and wins the Russian Grand Prix which is his seventh consecutive win in F1, his fourth of the season and his eighteenth win of his career.

Hamilton is a credible second 25 seconds behind Rosberg, Raikkonen finished in third place 31.9 seconds behind Rosberg, Bottas was a credible fourth 50.2 seconds behind Rosberg and Massa finished fifth 1.14.4 seconds behind Rosberg.

Alonso was sixth 1 lap behind Rosberg, Magnussen was seventh 1 lap behind Rosberg, Grosjean was eighth  1 lap behind Rosberg, Perez was ninth  1 lap behind Rosberg and Button was tenth 1 lap behind Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers’ Championship with 100 points, Hamilton is second with 57 points, Raikkonen is third with 43 points, Ricciardo is fourth with 36 points, Vettel is fifth with 33 points, Massa is sixth with 32 points, Grosjean is seventh with 22 points, Kvyat is eighth with 21 points, Bottas is ninth with 19 points and Verstappen is tenth with 13 points.

Mercedes lead the Constructors Championship with 157 points, Ferrari is second with 76 points, Red Bull are third with 57 points, Williams are fourth with 51 points, Haas are fifth with 22 points, Toro Rosso are sixth with 17 points, McLaren are seventh with 10 points, Force India are eighth with 8 points and Renault are ninth with 6 points.

Conclusion

I feel that McLaren have had an good weekend and have shown that they can still race near the front when they have the opportunity to do so. Alonso getting sixth place has been the biggest surprise of the race. Fernando drove a superb race to gain sixth yesterday despite a defensive race and it is very well deserved. And for him to secure this result shows that he did a brilliant job and has shown that despite not having the outright pace to challenge their rivals; he drove a great race to claim this result today and showed why he was signed by the team.

With Button gaining a point in tenth, I was very happy for him especially after battling through the grid to achieve it and racing hard. But with both drivers scoring points, this weekend has been great for them and for both drivers to get their first points of the season is fantastic and showing that even though it is still clear that the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car, they are making small gains that have paid off yesterday.

Perez did an okay job to get ninth place and had a great battle to get there after battling with Verstappen, Sainz Jr, Ricciardo and Buttonfor most of the race. This point for himself and Force India are vital and only shows just how much promise he has as a driver if he has the car underneath him to do so and that he is a talented and promising racing driver.

Grosjean battled his way through yesterday to get eighth place.  He battled his way through the field and created some great overtaking moves to get there. Grosjean may not have had the weekend that he wanted with Haas this weekend but he did the best that he could do and picked up some more points for the team and also started his season well.

Magnussen had a bit of an action packed yet defensive race to finish seventh, scoring his first points of the season and Renault’s first points since returning to the sport as a works based team. But there is still a lot of work to be done but the fact that Magnussen managed to score some much needed points for himself and his team will help him prepare for the rest of the 2016 season.

Massa did a great job to get fifth place today after battling with his team mate and Hamilton today. But in a race where many expected him to finish and to maintain the momentum he has so far, he has managed to gain some points for the team and put himself in good stead for the rest of the 2016 season.

Bottas did a great job to get fourth place yesterday and deserves a mention. He drove a solid race today despite not winning the battle with Lewis and he did a great job to secure some much needed points for his team after a good performance this weekend and it is clear that the car was working well for them as a result. This will only help him prepare for the rest of the 2016 season.

Raikkonen deserves a mention. He drove a solid race to third place and battled his way through to get these points which just solidify Ferrari’s status in the Constructors Championship. But he needs to keep the momentum going and see if he can get back to the front in Barcelona in two weeks time.

Hamilton drove a solid race to finish second today. He may not have had the race he wanted; and didn’t have a chance to try and get past but he did a great job to secure a podium today. What a fantastic job from him and this will only give him a slight satisfaction heading into the next race in Barcelona.

All that is left to say about this race is that Rosberg deserved to win at Sochi and he needed to in order to show that he cannot be discounted as a driver.  His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far since pre-season testing and have shown that they are just the best team on the grid at the moment. All credit to Rosberg for doing a superb job this weekend and winning his seventh consecutive race and his third race of the season.

With Barcelona not far away, many will wondering if this season will be Rosberg’s at last or can Hamilton or Vettel challenge him for wins along the way. But what is for certain is that Formula One is building up rather nicely.