What do you think when you say Williams F1? It’s hard to say because there has been a long journey since the famous team was born in 1977. Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve: this illustrious list of big names who won the title driving a Williams.
An incredible and dominating era shared with McLaren and Ferrari, that goes from the early eighties to the end of the millennium. But when I think of Williams I see a yellow lid in front of me, I hear a Brazilian accent shouting above the screaming engine, I feel a green flag flying in my beating heart, the legend of Ayrton Senna that tells an unfinished story from the FW16, this car was, unfortunately, the last car he would ever drive, the car he wanted so much to win the title in but betrayed him by not even finishing one race. The Williams team certainly has been through many different situations in its time: Wins, World championships, domination, good times and bad but they have always come through the tough times to fight another day.
Many other great drivers have passed through the British team during its forty years, Jenson Button started his career here in 2000, showing all his great talent.
So we can say, for sure, that Frank Williams has always been able to discover new and talented drivers. Montoya, Ralf Schumacher, Rosberg to name but a few. Some of the biggest names in Formula One history have, at one point, driven for the Williams team. This year marks 20 years since they won their last world championship with Jacques Villeneuve at the helm. The competition has seen many new teams joining over the years, Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, some of these teams doing a better job, sadly Williams has lived for many years in a kind of limbo and it seems they can’t get out of the rut they are stuck in.
So now, when I think of Williams most of my thoughts refer to the former glory of this legendary, once dominating team, Times have changed, they have never given up. I fondly think of Sir Frank always there no matter was is thrown at him and the team he holds so dearly to his heart. Who knows maybe one day, with the right engine, we will see Willliams return to their winning ways.