In photos: Williams' 40 years in Formula 1
9 May 2017 – In the second week of May 1977, Frank Williams kicked off a third spell as a team boss, following failed attempts with Frank Williams Racing Cars (1969-1975) and Wolf-Williams Racing (1976). GPUpdate.net looks back at the team's 40-year history in Formula 1, which has yielded 128 pole positions, 114 wins and 16 titles.
Williams made its Formula 1 debut at the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix (Jarama), running a March-Ford. Patrick Nève finished the race in 12th position, a result he gradually improved on as the season progressed. He came closest to scoring a point at Monza, where he placed seventh. Nève passed away earlier this year.
Williams, having scored points and taken a podium in 1978 with its first in-house design, made further strides through the 1979 season, backed by one of Saudi Arabia's largest trading companies, Albilad. At Silverstone, Alan Jones gave the team its first pole position, before Clay Regazzoni grabbed its first win in the race.
In only its fourth season, Williams won its first World Championships. Alan Jones had a mixed start to the 1980 campaign, recording three podiums and three retirements, but took four wins and three further podiums over the final eight races to beat Nelson Piquet to the title. Williams also comfortably claimed the Constructors'.
After Carlos Reutemann agonisingly missed out to Piquet by just one point in 1981, Keke Rosberg became Williams' next World Champion at the end of a bizarre 1982 season. Rosberg, the father of now reigning World Champion Nico, logged 'only' one win and 44 points to beat his inconsistent/unfortunate competition.
Frank Williams suffered a serious road accident in France in 1986 and has been in a wheelchair since. In this picture, he is flanked by Nigel Mansell and Piquet on his return to the F1 paddock at Brands Hatch. The pair were involved in the championship fight until the final race, only to both miss out to McLaren's Alain Prost.
Piquet bounced back in 1987 to claim the last of his three F1 titles. He again battled Mansell through the season, until the Briton suffered a heavy accident at Suzuka, which ruled him out of the final two races.
After the dominant McLaren-Honda period of 1988-1991, Williams retaliated. Mansell finally won his first title in 1992, at the age of 39, before Prost took his fourth crown in the dominant Williams FW15C a year later.
Frank Williams finally secured Ayrton Senna's signature for 1994, with arch-rival Prost retiring from the sport. But Williams' recent F1 dominance was undone by a clampdown on driver aids, its FW16 proving difficult to drive. What started out as a dream ended in a nightmare on that fateful San Marino Grand Prix weekend.
Damon Hill took over the mantle of team leader at Williams following Senna's death. He missed out on the 1994 and 1995 titles to Benetton driver Michael Schumacher, but it fell into place in 1996. He exited at the end of the season, though, paving the way for Jacques Villeneuve to take the 1997 title, after a season-long battle with Schumacher ended in controversy. Williams' two world titles from that campaign remain its most recent.
Williams' works engine partnership with BMW in the noughties failed to deliver on its promise. Although Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher took a handful of victories, they were not able to overcome the dominant Schumacher/Ferrari combination. Montoya left the team at the end of the 2004 season with a win in Brazil.
Montoya's result remained Williams' last victory until Pastor Maldonado produced one of the drives of his life to win the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, and become the fifth different winner in as many races (a number that would rise to seven). Maldonado started on pole after Lewis Hamilton's qualifying time was deleted due to a lack of fuel and fended off Fernando Alonso in the race. Williams' wait for its next Formula 1 victory rumbles on.