Williams FW08

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Williams FW08
Williams FW08B
Williams FW08C
Williams FW08 2008 Silverstone Classic.jpg
A Williams FW08, pictured in 2008.
Category Formula One
Constructor Williams
Designer(s) Patrick Head
Predecessor FW07
Successor FW09
Technical specifications[1][2]
Chassis Aluminium honeycomb monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbones, coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension (rear) Double wishbones, coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
Engine Cosworth DFY, 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in), 90° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Hewland FGA 400 5-speed manual
Fuel Mobil
Tyres Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants TAG Williams Racing Team
Notable drivers Republic of Ireland Derek Daly
Finland Keke Rosberg
France Jacques Laffite
United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer
Debut 1982 Belgian Grand Prix
Races Wins Poles F.Laps
27 2 2 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 1 (1982Keke Rosberg)

The Williams FW08 was a Formula One car designed by Patrick Head which debuted at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix held at the Zolder circuit. An evolution of the FW07 that it replaced, the car was used by Finnish driver Keke Rosberg to win the 1982 World Drivers' Championship.

The FW08B was a six-wheeled (4 driven wheels at the rear and 2 undriven wheels at the front) variant that originated from the FW07D (also six-wheeled). It never raced. Patrick Head specifically said that the reason it was banned was because "someone in a FOCA meeting said it would drive up costs and cause chaos during pitstops". The FIA promptly limited the number of wheels for all cars to four, of which only 2 may be driven.[3][4]

The car was updated for the 1983 Formula One season to become the FW08C. Under new regulations all ground effects were out and flat bottom cars were in meaning nearly all the cars in F1 had to be heavily modified or replaced and the FW08 was no different. Against the turbo cars of Renault, Brabham and Ferrari, Williams were not expected to do as well as they did. Rosberg opened the season with pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix (the last for a Cosworth DFY engined car) and scored the cars last win with a great drive at Monaco. He would eventually finish 5th in the Drivers' Championship while Williams would finish 1983 in 4th place, the best of the Cosworth-powered cars.

The FW08C also has the distinction of being the first Formula One car ever driven by Ayrton Senna at Donington Park in July 1983, after he badgered team boss Frank Williams for a test after being sat beside him on a flight. Senna completed 40 laps and lapped the circuit faster than anyone else had managed in the car, including 1983 race drivers Rosberg and Jacques Laffite. However, Williams team was not able to offer Senna a drive for 1984 as Rosberg and Laffite were under contract and the Brazilian signed to the Toleman team instead. Senna would not drive another Williams until he fatefully signed to drive for the team in 1994.

A Williams FW08C, pictured in 2010. Note the much reduced sidepods in comparison to the earlier FW08 pictured above right.

The FW08C was retired after the 1983 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. A third car was actually raced by the team at this race and was driven to 13th place by Jonathan Palmer. It was replaced by the Honda powered FW09 for the last race of the season in South Africa.

Early in 1983, Rosberg drove his FW08C to victory in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. To date this is the last non-championship Formula One race held.

In 1985 two FW08C were entered by PMC Motorsport in some races of the Formula 3000 championship, driven by Thierry Tassin and Lamberto Leoni. The results achieved were unremarkable apart from Lamberto Leoni's third place in the Pau street race.


Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts. WCC
1982 FW08 Cosworth DFY
V8 NA
G RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 58* 4th
Keke Rosberg 2 Ret 4 Ret 3 Ret 5 3 2 1 8 5
Derek Daly Ret 6 5 7 5 5 7 Ret Ret 9 Ret 6
1983 FW08C Cosworth DFY
V8 NA
G BRA USW FRA SMR MON BEL DET CAN GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR RSA 38* 4th
Keke Rosberg DSQ Ret 5 4 1 5 2 4 11 10 8 Ret 11 Ret
Jacques Laffite 4 4 6 7 Ret 6 5 Ret 12 6 Ret Ret DNQ DNQ
Jonathan Palmer 13

* 14 points in 1982 scored using the FW07C
* 2 points in 1983 scored by Honda turbo powered Williams FW09

References[edit]

External links[edit]

 
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