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Williams FW07

Williams FW07 F1 car

The FW07 put Williams firmly on the F1 map! Its precursor - the FW06 - had guided 'Williams Grand Prix Engineering' into motorsport's big league. Patrick Head was chief designer. Key to the FW06 was 'ground-effect' ... the technical wizardry Lotus had first introduced. Aerodynamic skirts 'sucked' the Lotus 78 to the tarmac. Ground-effect was a GP game changer. It made the '78' nigh on unbeatable. But, Lotus had a chink in their armour. The 78's structural strength - or lack of it - limited the amount of down-force that could be used. The new Williams - the FW07 - featured a monocoque chassis. It could take as much 'vacuum-suck' as the venturi could chuck at it!

The '79 season was well under way by the time the FW07 was launched. It did not take long for it to get up to speed. Come the mid-point of the campaign, and the FW07 was flying! Clay Regazzoni took its first win. Fittingly, for Williams, it was at Silverstone, England. Alan Jones added a further four wins to the tally, by season's end. Next time round - in 1980 - Jones took Williams' first World Championship. He pipped Nelson Piquet - in his Brabham - to the F1 post.

In '81, it was more of the same. Carlos Reutemann - in the FW07 - topped the podium for most of the season. 1982 - and the final act for the FW07 was staged at Long Beach, California. Keke Rosberg finished second - giving Williams another world title. Ground-force - in the guise of the FW07 - had generated more than just traction. It administered Williams' first - but not last - dose of F1 dominance.


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