|Designer(s)||Patrick Head (Technical Director)|
Gavin Fisher (Chief Designer)
Geoff Willis (Chief Aerodynamicist)
|Suspension (front)||Williams double wishbone, torsion bar, pushrod|
|Suspension (rear)||Williams double wishbone, coil spring, pushrod|
|Engine||BMW P80 2998 cc V10 (90°) naturally aspirated, 19,000 RPM|
|Transmission||Williams 7-speed longitudinal semi-automatic sequential|
|Notable entrants||BMW Williams F1 Team|
|Notable drivers||5. Ralf Schumacher|
6. Juan Pablo Montoya
|Debut||2001 Australian Grand Prix|
The Williams FW23 was the car with which the Williams team competed in the 2001 Formula One season. It was raced in competition by Ralf Schumacher, who was in his third year with the team, and Juan Pablo Montoya, a previous Formula 3000 and CART champion who was making his F1 début.
A total of 9 chassis were built.
2001 was Williams' second year with engine partners BMW and the promise shown in 2000 translated into raw speed and some good results throughout the year, including the team's first win since 1997 at Imola. The powerful engine, well-designed chassis, the Michelin tyres' tendency to work well in hot conditions and the efforts of two quick drivers resulted in a haul of four victories and the team's re-emergence at the top of the sport, alongside Ferrari and McLaren. The car was especially strong on faster circuits such as Hockenheim and Monza, where the BMW engine put Williams at a distinct advantage over their rivals.
However, Williams were not able to mount a title challenge, for several reasons. Firstly, the BMW engines were more unreliable than their rivals, resulting in a finishing rate of less than 50%. Secondly, in contrast to the faster circuits, the chassis was not as competitive on high-downforce tracks such as Monaco and the Hungaroring. Thirdly, both drivers made several mistakes, Montoya in particular as he came to terms with F1.
However, the team still finished a clear third in the Constructors' Championship, with 80 points.
BMW Williams went into the 2001 season with renewed major sponsorships such as Allianz, Nortel Networks, Compaq, Reuters, Veltins, Petrobras and Castrol. BMW Williams received new sponsorship such as WorldCom and discontinued sponsorships are 11880.com. The livery was similar to the 2000 design with subtle changes. Ahead of the 2001 San Marino Grand Prix, Williams jokingly painted their rear wing with a text saying "Keep Your Distance!", after many rivals shunted, or driving into the back of Schumacher and Montoya several times in the first three races.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
|Juan Pablo Montoya||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret||2||Ret||Ret||Ret||2||Ret||4||Ret||8||Ret||1||Ret||2|
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