A long overdue list, Williams have won more constructors championships than anyone except Ferrari. Many of their cars have been beauties so it was difficult to narrow it down to a top 10. You won’t be expecting the number one choice…
10. Williams FW21 (1999)
The red-liveried Williams’ of 1998-99 were much maligned in terms of aesthetics, though I always had a soft spot for them. The 1999 FW21 had cleaner lines and a less scattered livery than the previous years FW20, and it just makes it into my top 10.
9. Williams FW31 (2009)
The new aero regs for 2009 took some getting used to, but Williams pulled out a cracking looking machine with the FW31. One huge plus point is that it had one of their best looking liveries for many seasons, using a lighter shade of blue - and not skimping on it either!
8. Williams FW26 (2004)
Yes, it’s the ‘walrus nose’ and no, I haven’t gone mad. Though at the time it looked a little strange, over the years it’s become epically cool. It’s not just about the nose though – the rest of the car looks great too. It still looked good when the team ditched the nose for a more conventional design mid season.
7. Williams FW19 (1997)
The last of the glorious Rothmans liveries, the FW19 took Jacques Villeneuve to the 1997 Drivers Championship and the team to their ninth Constructors title – their last to date. Lets hope there are more to come.
6. Williams FW08 (1982)
Keke Rosberg won the bizarre and tragic 1982 season in the perfectly proportioned FW08, the last title triumph for the great DFV family of engines. The car battled on throughout most of 1983 but other than a magnificent win a Monaco for Rosberg, simply couldn’t match its turbocharged rivals.
5. Williams FW13b (1990)
The FW13b was campaigned throughout 1990 by Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese. Though McLaren and Ferrari dominated the season, Boutsen managed a superb win in Hungary with this gorgeous, sleek machine. My favourite aspect? The oval air intake.
4. Williams FW14b (1992)
Everybody knows the hugely advanced FW14b - 15 poles from 16 races, 10 wins, the Constructors Championship and at last, the Drivers Championship for Nigel Mansell in ‘Red 5′. It’s iconic and beautiful, and along with its replacement – the FW15C - is probably the most technologically advanced racing machine ever built.
3. Williams FW22 (2000)
The first Williams with BMW power, the FW22 wasn’t exactly successful, managing just three podiums, but my god it’s pretty. The elegant shape of the monocoque clad in a simple but wonderful livery looks great. The car was also driven by a young Jenson Button in his debut year, so it now thankfully has the historical significance to match its looks.
2. Williams FW17 (1995)
Comfortably the best looking of the Rothmans liveried Williams’ – and that’s saying something. David Coulthard said that it was the best car he drove in his F1 career, but despite that, the team underperformed. It was probably capable of taking both championships, but the brilliance of Schumacher coupled with a bad season for Hill meant they ended the year with nothing but a handful of wins.
1. Williams FW09 (1984)
This car is hideous, I admit that – so why is it number one in my list? The squared-off nosecone looks like it was modelled on a breeze block, as do the sidepods and the front wing; and the fuel tank gives the car an overweight, ungainly look. The Honda engine gave the car ferocious power but the near uncontrollable turbo lag made the car extremely difficult to drive. How Keke Rosberg managed to drive the car to victory at a boiling hot, disintegrating Dallas GP I don’t know.
Keke Rosberg muscling a pig of a car to a win at one of the most attritional Grands Prix ever. That’s a very different, very special kind of beauty – it screams drama, and that’s why the FW09 is number one.