WILLIAMS COSWORTH FW07

 

In 1978 Sir Frank Williams had re-established himself as a constructor in his own rights with the Cosworth powered FW06 designed by Patrick Head and driven by Australian Alan Jones. For 1979 Williams bought a FOCA (Formula One Constructors Association) entry for a second car from Team Surtees retiring from Grand Prix Racing (Surtees´ other slot was aquired by Equipe Ligier). Williams hired former Ferrari driver Clay Regazzoni from Switzerland for their second car, while the team´s number one driver Alan Jones remained. Patrick Head had not really understood, how the ground effect cars Lotus Ford 78 and 79 had been working at the beginning, but he had learned very quickly. In Long Beach 1979 Williams Grand Prix Engineering presented their version of a wing car in the shape of the beautiful looking FW07 to the public, the United States West Grand Prix definitely was the last appearance of the FW06 in a Grand Prix race. The first Grand Prix , when Jones and Regazzoni had got available the FW07, was the Spanish round held at Jarama near the capital of Madrid at the end of April 1979, but both the drivers had to retire. That the new car was very promising showed Clay Regazzoni in Monaco a few days later when finishing second position only 0.4 seconds behind Jody Scheckter`s winning Ferrari. Then Regazzoni scored Williams`maiden Grand Prix win in the team`s home round at Silverstone. With Alan Jones conquering four further wins in Germany (Hockenheim), Austria (Zeltweg), The Netherlands (Zandvoort) and Canada (Montreal) Williams finished second overall in the 1979 constructors`championship behind Ferrari. For 1980 Frank Williams replaced Regazzoni by Carlos Reutemann, the Swiss switched back to Ensign, where he sustained a heavy accident in Long Beach 1980 caused by a broken brake pedal making him sit in a wheel chair from that point on. Jones won in Argentina, Spain, France, Britain, Canada and USA East (Watkins Glen) that year making him become world champion, while Reutemann triumphed in the prestigeous Monaco Grand Prix. Williams also became constructors`world champions for the first time in 1980. The following year an open conflict between Reutemann and Jones and Team Williams on the other side broke out. The sensitive Indian (Jochen Rindt once had called him so) had seen the chance of becoming world champion himself driving the best car of this epoque after having failed doing so at Brabham, Ferrari and Lotus earlier in his career. Once being in the lead of the 1981 Brazilian Grand Prix held at Jacarepagua, he refused to change his position with Jones on second place as it was ordered by the team management. Reutemann later explained his behaviour with having not seen the corresponding pit signal in the heavy rain of Rio, but the Williams crew did not accept that version. From that time on Reutemann was demoted despite also winning the Belgian Grand Prix. Jones won both the United States Grand Prix at Long Beach and Las Vegas bringing the FW07`s number of victories up to 16 also making Williams Grand Prix Engineering defend their constructor´ s title. But without any support of the team Reutemann lost the drivers`s championship against Nelson Piquet in the Brabham Ford in the final round in the desert of Nevada. After Las Vegas Jones declared his retirement from Grand Prix Racing for the first time, so Keke Rosberg (former Fittipaldi) joined Williams. Being disappionted by his 1981 defeat also Reutemann decided to quit in spring of 1982. For this reason the FW07`s last works appearance saw Mario Andretti entering it`cockpit for a single race in Long Beach, where Rosberg finished second behind Niki Lauda winning the first Grand Prix after his return in a McLaren Ford. Then the FW07 was replaced by the FW08 making Keke Rosberg winning the 1982 worldchampionship partnered by the team`s new second driver Derek Daly. Both the FW07 and the FW08 had been available in six-wheeler versions for testing purposes before six wheels were banned from Grand Prix Racing.

Klaus Ewald

 








 

Model Designation: Williams Cosworth FW07 Years: 1979 - 1982 Chassis: Williams aluminum monocoque Engine: Ford Cosworth 3.0 litre normally-aspirated V8 Gearbox: Hewland FG400 five speed manual Tyres: Goodyear Sponsors: Saudia (airlines), TAG (technologies) ALBILAD trade) , Leyland (trucks) Designer: Patrick Head Drivers: Alan Jones/AUS, Clay Regazzoni/CH, Carlos Reutemann/RA, Keke Rosberg/FIN, Mario Andretti/USA

 

Technical exclusive images taken at the 2005 Jim Clark Revival at Hockenheim

 

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