800 Races In Formula One: Williams Remain Part Of The Fabric Of The Sport

Frank Williams has a lot to be proud of...
07:00, 05 Jul 2023

46 years after they were founded by Frank Williams and Patrick Head, Williams will celebrate their landmark achievement of 800 races in Formula One. With 114 race wins and nine Constructors' Championship titles, Williams are one of the most iconic racing teams currently on the circuit, and they will celebrate at Silverstone. 

The British Grand Prix is a fitting venue to celebrate for Williams given Silverstone hosted the teams first ever race win in 1979 and its 100th win in 1997. It also was the home of two of their greatest ever drivers in Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, who won world titles in the blue of Williams, along with legendary names such as Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and Jacques Villeneuve. 

Their role and importance in the sport has been so impactful that founder Frank Williams earned a knighthood in 1999, while only Ferrari have competed in more races as a Formula One constructor. The loss of the founder and inspiration for this team in November 2021 hit the F1 community hard, but Frank’s life was celebrated. 


He started from scratch to create one of the most successful teams in the business and his passion and love for racing was immeasurable. He rode the highs and lows of the sport, while nurturing some of the finest young mechanics and drivers the sport has ever seen. Rosberg was brilliant and Mansell superb, but there was something special about Ayrton Senna. 

He finally got to join Williams in 1994 after Prost’s retirement, teaming up with Hill to form an incredible racing duo. They were going head-to-head with a young Michael Schumacher and it could have been one of the finest seasons the sport has ever seen. Then disaster struck, as Senna died after crashing while leading the San Marino Grand Prix, and the sport mourned. 

Williams had enjoyed so many highs over the years,  but this was a loss that led to unimaginable pain. Not just for the team that were hoping to deliver him an F1 title, but for the sport that had treasured one of their stars. It was a tough period, yet Williams would regroup. 

The dominance they showed in 1996 was incredible while the battle Villeneuve had with Schumacher in 1997 gripped the sporting world. Back-to-back titles were a remarkable achievement for the team, but the turn of the century would bring different challenges. 

Williams are no longer the dominant force in the sport. Instead, they had to watch big money come into the sport and, as an independent team, slipped towards the back of the pack. But despite this, Williams have maintained their British charm and team spirit. Alexander Albon has delivered some respectable results this season and there is still hope for the future. 

Importantly, they remain part of the fabric of the sport. Formula One without Williams just wouldn’t be right. So now, at Silverstone and next week in Hungary, lets celebrate a remarkable 800 races in Formula One, for one of the truly great teams. 

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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