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|Chassis||Moulded Carbon composite monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Double wishbone, rocker-operated inboard spring damper|
|Suspension (rear)||Lower wishbone, rocker-operated inboard spring damper/Double wishbone, pullrod-operated inboard spring damper|
|Engine||Honda RA163-E, 1,494 cc (91.2 cu in), 80° V6, turbo, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||Williams / Hewland 6-speed Manual|
|Notable entrants||Canon Williams Honda Team|
|Notable drivers||5. Nigel Mansell
6. Keke Rosberg
|Debut||1985 Brazilian Grand Prix|
1985 marked Williams' second full season with Honda turbo power. 1984 had been difficult, as the FW09 struggled to cope with the enormous power and brutal torque curve, leading to handling problems which afflicted drivers Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite throughout the season. Technical Director Patrick Head thus decided to make the FW10 stiffer by making the monocoque entirely from carbon composite, rather than the aluminium honeycomb construction of previous years. This construction technique had been pioneered by the McLaren team with their MP4/1 in 1981, and was in the process of being adopted by the other teams for its combination of exceptional stiffness and lightness. In total, nine FW10 tubs were built; one was sent to Japan for Honda test driver Satoru Nakajima to drive, and one was a prototype to test the construction process.
During the 1985 season, two were written off in accidents: the first when Nigel Mansell went head-on into a barrier at Detroit, the second when he crashed heavily at Paul Ricard due to tyre blowout at over 200 mph (322 km/h), unwittingly setting the record for the highest speed crash in Formula One. The Honda engine proved to be extremely powerful, if not as reliable as the championship-winning TAG-Porsche turbo engine in Alain Prost's McLaren MP4/2B, with Head claiming around 1000-1250 bhp in qualifying, and up to 900 bhp (670 kW) in race configuration.
The team had a much better season than in the previous two years, scoring four wins and taking third place in the Constructors' Championship. During the early part of the season the cars made do with upgraded 1984 engines. Honda introduced a new engine at Detroit and instantly the cars were on the pace, with both Rosberg and Mansell expressing delight in the power of the new engine and how much easier it was to drive. Rosberg won in Detroit, whilst further developments to the engine in the final stages of the season saw the FW10 win the final three races of the season which allowed Williams to snatch third place in the Constructors' Championship on a count-back from Lotus.
Mansell, having joined the team from Lotus at the beginning of the year, won his first Grand Prix in home territory at Brands Hatch for the European Grand Prix, before following it up immediately with another win at Kyalami in South Africa. After winning in Detroit, Rosberg then won his 5th and last Grand Prix at the last race of the season in Adelaide for the first ever World Championship Australian Grand Prix (Williams had previously won the non-championship AGP in 1980 with that year's World Drivers' Champion Alan Jones driving the Cosworth DFV powered Williams FW07B). The momentum gained from winning the final three races of the season would carry the team into a successful 1986 season.
Despite winning the final three races of the year, the team's early season reliability was still not as good as some of its rivals, and the car proved difficult to drive in wet conditions and at tight circuits with earlier-specification engines, such as at the Portuguese and Monaco Grands Prix.
During qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Keke Rosberg lapped the 4.719 km (2.932 mi) circuit in his Honda powered FW10 in a time of 1:05.591 for an average speed of 160.9 mph (258.9 km/h), the first time a Formula One car had broken the 160 mph barrier for a qualifying lap. This record would stand until Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya lapped Monza in his V10 BMW powered Williams FW24 at 161.449 mph (259.827 km/h) during qualifying for the 2002 Italian Grand Prix. Rosberg's lap at Silverstone was all the more impressive given that he was on slick qualifying tyres at a time when the track was damp from light rain, and that he also had a deflating tyre for most of the lap.
Autocourse subsequently picked the FW10 as third-best car of the year, behind the Lotus 97T and McLaren MP4/2B, and the chassis also won the Autosport magazine's "racing car of the year" award. The FW10 also acted as an important step up to 1986 and 1987 for the team, in which the FW11 with its Honda engines were generally the class of the field.
After years of running predominantly white cars with British Racing Green coloured signwriting, this was the first Williams car to wear the distinctive Yellow-Blue-White livery that regardless of sponsors, would become characteristic of the team until the end of the 1993 season.
Keke Rosberg also driving the FW10 at the German GP, where he finished in twelfth place.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap.)
|1985||Canon Williams||Honda RA163-E
- "AT&T Williams F1". Attwilliams.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
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