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Thursday, August 2, 2007

With a penchant for innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, Sir Frank Williams created the 'Williams Grand Prix Engineering Team' in 1977. Since their debut in the 1978 Argentine Grand Prix, Williams has won 9 Constructors' Championships and 7 Drivers' titles. With over 100 GP wins, they are clearly amongst the big boys of Formula 1.

Williams has a history of recruiting some outstanding talent and Patrick Head, the designer, was hired when the team was in its early days. His efforts coupled with Frank Williams' expertise are often referred to the 'Williams-Head' partnership that is now legendary.

Unlike other teams that took a while to make a mark on the F1 circuit, Williams tasted almost instant success. In just their first season, they had a podium finish and by the end of their third season in 1980, they had their hands around both the drivers' and constructors' titles. This helped in attracting some fine talent their way and the results continued to be impressive.

Amongst some of the major names to have raced with Williams are Finland's Keke Rosberg, Britain's Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, France's Alain Prost and Brazil's Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna. Williams' toughest hour came in 1994 when Ayrton Senna died in an accident in a Williams. Frank Williams, Patrick Head and designer Adrian Newey, were all subsequently accused of manslaughter but when the trial ended in 2005, they were all cleared of any wrongdoing.

Over the years, Williams has had many engine suppliers, but their best results have been with the Honda and Renault engines. They have won two constructors' championships with Honda and five with Renault. However, the downslide for Williams began with Renault's withdrawal from the sport in 1997.

2006 saw Williams compile their worst tally of points since debut and a lot of work remains to be done. Rebuilding the team is underway but the results aren't expected to be forthcoming. In 2007, their brand new FW29 will be powered by Toyota and while Nico Rosberg retained his race-drive - last season's test driver, Alex Wurz makes a full-time race comeback replacing the Red Bull bound, Mark Webber.

Team Boss: Frank Williams

Races: 497

Race Wins: 113

Constructor's Championships: 9

Engine: Toyota V8 RVX-07

Chassis: FW29 - Williams

Suspension: Double wishbones by WilliamsF1

Brakes: AP Racing Calipers, Carbone Industries carbon-fibre

Tyres: Bridgestone

Transmission: 7-speed unit + reverse

Engine power:
Over 18,500 rpm
GearBox: 7-speed WilliamsF1
Weight: 605 kgs (including driver, camera and ballast)
Dimensions: --
Valves: 4 valves per cylinder; pneumatic valve system
Total displacement: 2.4 litres

Team Personnel:
Team manager:
Designer: Ed Wood
Chief engineer: --
Drivers: Alexander Wurz (Austria), Nico Rosberg (Germany)
Test driver: Narain Karthikeyan, Kazuki Nakajima

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