Williams, the sleeping giant

Williams, the sleeping giant

For new fans of Formula 1, talking about Williams means talking about a team that is used to being in the last positions of the grid and hardly fighting for a P10. But the reality is that it is the second-most winning team in the history of the sport, behind Ferrari.

Let's start at the beginning. In the early 70s, a former British driver named Frank Williams decided to put aside his career as a runner to direct his projects in the category and build a winning team under his command. After several attempts without obtaining remarkable results, in 1977 Frank associated with Patrick Head and it can be said that the history of this team began in that year.

Good results were not long in coming. In 1979, Clay Regazzoni took the team's first victory at the British Grand Prix. And indeed it was the first of many. They currently have 114 wins and more than 300 podiums.

Golden ages

The period that goes from 1980 to 1997 can be marked as the most glorious stage of Williams. Between these years, it won 9 constructors' and 7 drivers' titles at the hands of Alan Jones (1980), Keke Rosberg (1982), Nelson Piquet, (1987) Nigel Mansell (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997).

Those were times when Williams' dominance in F1 was impressive. Although they had bad and disappointing campaigns during those years, the team led by Frank Williams positioned itself as the rival to beat and the outfit that everyone wanted to drive for.

His association with Renault Motors in 1989 had a lot to do with the team's success. Between 1992 and 1997, they won the constructors' championship on 5 occasions, only surpassed once in 1995 by Benetton.

XXI century, fall and discredit

The new century began well for the team, being runner-up in constructors and having top-level drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. They got some victories and podiums, and positioned themselves as a rival to take into account beyond the domain of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher in these years.

Little by little, the competitiveness of Williams was disappearing and from 2005 it became a team that disputed the middle line. And unfortunately for its leaders and fans, it stayed there. The victories and podiums were more and more distant year after year and the pilots no longer had the renown or the talent that their world champions had.

His last victory was in 2012 at the Spanish Grand Prix, where the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, almost miraculously, managed to win. Since then, Williams has not managed to be the same team that it was in the 90s and has had a development role for young drivers such as George Russel, Valtteri Bottas or currently Logan Sargeant and Alex Albon.

In any case, the present does not overshadow history. Williams is a mythical team that has marked an era. Although it is now a long way from the top positions, all the fans hope to see Williams again as it was.