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Five decades of achievements for Williams

Five decades of achievements for Williams

F1 News

Five decades of achievements for Williams

Five decades of achievements for Williams

On the occasion of Sir Frank Williams' 78th birthday, GPFans have taken a look back at the greatest successes of the Williams Formula 1 team from each decade.

One of the most successful teams in Formula 1 history, Williams have a large back catalogue of race wins to chose from. For various reasons though, these are the five race victories that GPFans have rated above all others.

1979 British Grand Prix - The first victory for Williams

Alan Jones qualified his Williams on pole, but it was Clay Regazzoni who scored the first victory for Williams.

Both cars had been involved in an early battle with the Ferrari's of Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve and the Brabham's of Niki Lauda, but Regazzoni was able to take advantage of the poor reliability of others, including a water pump failure in Jones's car, to take the flag by 24-seconds.

The victory kick started a successful period for the Williams team with Jones taking the next three wins. The following season saw Jones take the drivers' title and Williams score a first constructors' title.

1987 British Grand Prix - Mansell-mania

Williams locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying and, after the McLaren of Alain Prost briefly led, the race quickly became a straight duel between Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell.

Piquet enjoyed a two second lead when Mansell pitted for fresh tyres. Exiting his stop almost half a minute behind Piquet, Mansell went on the most famous comeback charge in Formula 1 history, running in qualifying mode and breaking the lap record an astonishing eight times, the Briton made his move for the lead on lap 63 of 65.

Fans broke rank and stormed the track on his cool down lap, creating images that will never be forgotten.

1996 Japanese Grand Prix - Hill takes the title

Having missed out on the 1994 drivers' title with Williams due to the questionable driving of Michael Schumacher, Hill finally claimed his championship title after taking victory in the 1996 Japanese Grand Prix.

Making the most of the mistakes of others, Hill began to pull out his a lead over second placed Michael Schumacher's Ferrari.

The championship was made certain when teammate Jacques Villeneuve suffered a wheel bearing failure. The Canadian reitred from the race and Hill was able to stroke home his Williams-Renault to take the title, leading to the immortal line from commentator Murray Walker, "I've got to stop now, because I've got a lump in my throat."

2003 Monaco Grand Prix - Williams back on top in the principality

Williams had last won on the streets of Monaco in 1983 so, although there were several wins for Williams across the decade, victory on the famous streets probably tasted slightly sweeter than the others.

The race that saw the infamous 'Trulli train' hold up Michael Schumacher, the final portion of the race saw Juan Pablo Montoya defending from Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen.

It later emerged that Montoya had been nursing an engine problem towards the end of the race, making it all the more astounding that the Colombian was able to hold on to take the win.

This remains the only win for the team at Monaco in the past 47-years.

2012 Spanish Grand Prix - Maldonado springs a surprise

The 2012 season saw seven different winners from the first seven races, and Pastor Maldonado was the fifth driver on this list.

The only victory for Williams since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, Maldonado put on an incredible display to deny Fernando Alonso a home win.

Maldonado had inherited pole from Lewis Hamilton, the McLaren driver being excluded from qualifying due to running out of fuel on his cool-down lap, but the win, made more special by having Sir Frank Williams making a rare appearancein the garage.

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