Williams FW06

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Williams FW06
Williams FW06 front Donington Grand Prix Collection.jpg
CategoryFormula One
Designer(s)Patrick Head
PredecessorWilliams FW04
SuccessorWilliams FW07
Technical specifications
ChassisAluminium monocoque
EngineFord-Cosworth DFV 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) 90° V8 naturally aspirated mid-mounted
TransmissionHewland FGA 400 6-speed manual
Competition history
Notable entrantsWilliams
Notable drivers27. Australia Alan Jones
28. Switzerland Clay Regazzoni
Debut1978 Argentine Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0

The Williams FW06 was the first car produced by the combination of Frank Williams and Patrick Head for their Williams Grand Prix Engineering Formula One team. As was the standard arrangement for the many small British garagiste teams, the car was powered by the Cosworth DFV 3.0 litre V8 engine.


After a season running a customer March chassis in 1977 with limited results, just as in 1975 Frank Williams decided on a completely independent car for the new season. The FW06 was Patrick Head's first full F1 design. Inspired by the shortcomings of the March and his quick fix improvements done to the FW04[1] he took no chances and penned a simple and light car that handled well. It had a conventional design but was as tightly packaged as possible. As was normal at the time, some parts for the car were not bespoke items, but bought off the shelf. For example the radiators were sourced from a Volkswagen Golf.[2] However reliability was an issue to begin with.[3]

Race history[edit]

With major sponsorship secured from Saudi Arabian Airlines and TAG, the FW06 first took to the racetrack in the 1978 Argentine Grand Prix in the hands of Alan Jones, and a single car competed in all 16 rounds of the World Championship that season, finishing in the points 3 times including a second place at Watkins Glen, equalling Williams best result at the 1975 German Grand Prix.[4] An excellent drive by Jones at Long Beach was unrewarded. While running second the car developed mechanical trouble and fell back.[5] Jones liked the car, stating that it was pleasant to drive and was very drivable compared to previous machinery he had been given, and felt it was one of the best non ground effect cars that season.[6] The higher budget afforded by the sponsorship deal allowed Patrick Head to continually develop the FW06 throughout the year.[7] Williams finished ninth in the constructors' championship in 1978, matching the best performance by the team in its first incarnation achieved in 1975.[8]

Alan Jones driving the FW06 at the 1978 British Grand Prix.

The FW06 also saw service in the first four races of the 1979 season, with Clay Regazzoni joining Jones in the team. Jones finished in third place at Long Beach, but by now the car was being left behind by the ground effect cars of Lotus, Ligier, Tyrrell and others, and the car was replaced by the FW07.

Upon being retired, the FW06 chassis was bought by motorcycle ace Giacomo Agostini, who had decided on a switch to car racing and drove the car with sponsorship from Marlboro in the British Formula One Championship in 1979 and 1980.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

The car appeared in the video game Formula One Championship Edition on PlayStation in the classic cars along with other classic cars including Lotus 49C, Lotus 72D, Cooper T51, Alfa Romeo 158 and Renault RS01.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position) (results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1978 Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ford Cosworth DFV V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 11 9th
Alan Jones Ret 14 4 7 Ret 10 8 Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 2 9
1979 Albilad-Saudia Racing Team Ford Cosworth DFV V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 751 2nd
Alan Jones 9 Ret Ret 3
Clay Regazzoni 10 15 9 Ret

^1 71 points in scored using the Williams FW07.


  1. ^ "Patrick Head". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Williams FW06". 14 June 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  3. ^ "1978 Williams FW06 Cosworth - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  4. ^ "1975 German Grand Prix". Motor Sport Magazine. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  5. ^ "1978 Williams FW06". conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Alan Jones Interview | Beyond The Grid | Official F1 Podcast *STRONG LANGUAGE*". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 8 December 2019 – via www.youtube.com.
  7. ^ "Alan Jones | Motor Sport Magazine Database". Motor Sport Magazine. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  8. ^ "1975 F1 Championship Standings". www.f1-fansite.com. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  9. ^ "8W - Who? - Giacomo Agostini". 8w.forix.com. Retrieved 1 December 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Williams FW06 at Wikimedia Commons