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Mansell, Hill, Montoya and extra

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Williams has been competing at automotive racing’s pinnacle for greater than 4 a long time and 16 drivers have received world championship races with the workforce.

Prime 10: Ranking the greatest Williams F1 cars

That makes choosing the highest 10 Williams F1 drivers a problem.

For this record we’ve taken under consideration the quantity of success the drivers scored with Williams, the impression that they had on the workforce and the circumstances of their time there. It doesn’t depend their achievements at different groups.

Patrese hit nice kind in 1991 and had the upper-hand on Mansell early within the 12 months, delivering a convincing win in Mexico

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Photograph by: Motorsport Images

10. Riccardo Patrese

Williams years: 1987 (remaining race), 1988-92
Williams wins: 4
Williams titles: 0

Carlos Reutemann and Patrese have been very shut for this tenth spot, however the Italian will get the nod attributable to his longevity with the workforce and the very fact he took 4 world championship grand prix wins for Williams in comparison with the Argentinian’s three. He additionally didn’t stroll out on the squad two races right into a marketing campaign, as Reutemann did in 1982…

PLUS: The mystery capitulation that denied F1’s ultimate enigma 1981 title glory

After a one-off subbing for the injured Nigel Mansell within the 1987 Australian GP, Patrese joined the Briton at Williams full-time the next season. The Judd-powered FW12 was not a Williams basic and suffered poor reliability, however issues began to search for when Renault engines arrived in 1989.

Patrese and new team-mate Thierry Boutsen have been evenly matched and each received races, Patrese taking the 1990 San Marino GP.

However maybe he was by no means extra spectacular than in 1991. Mansell returned however Patrese constantly had the sting in qualifying within the early levels of the marketing campaign, because the FW14 grew to become an actual menace to McLaren.

PLUS: The key Williams mistakes behind missing 1991 title glory

He brilliantly led the moist San Marino GP and received in Mexico earlier than Mansell got here on robust and took the battle to McLaren’s Ayrton Senna. Patrese nonetheless completed a nice third within the drivers’ standings.

He was by no means as comfy within the traction management, energetic suspension-boasting FW14B in 1992. Whereas Mansell swept to the title with 9 wins, Patrese scored only one and solely narrowly held off Michael Schumacher and Senna for second within the championship.

PLUS: Nigel Roebuck on Riccardo Patrese

Schumacher ended a three-year drought for Williams by winning the 2001 San Marino GP

Schumacher ended a three-year drought for Williams by successful the 2001 San Marino GP

Photograph by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

9. Ralf Schumacher

Williams years: 1999-2004
Williams wins: 6
Williams titles: 0

It’s generally forgotten how good Michael Schumacher’s brother was at instances for Williams, significantly throughout his sensible first marketing campaign with the workforce in 1999.

Ralf constantly challenged the quicker McLarens and Ferraris, was unfortunate not to win the European GP and comfortably put his extremely rated IndyCar champion team-mate Alex Zanardi within the shade.

He additionally beat spectacular rookie Jenson Button throughout their 12 months collectively in 2000 and scored Williams’s first GP win for practically 4 years at Imola the next season, considered one of three victories in 2001.

PLUS: How BMW took Williams to the brink of F1 glory and back

Issues bought harder alongside Juan Pablo Montoya as their time collectively wore on and Schumacher’s 2004 marketing campaign was ruined by his Indianapolis crash. However his six wins make him the seventh most profitable Williams F1 driver, greater than another non-champion.

Montoya's swashbuckling style endeared him to many, as did his ambushing of Schumacher at Interlagos in only his third race in 2001

Montoya’s swashbuckling fashion endeared him to many, as did his ambushing of Schumacher at Interlagos in solely his third race in 2001

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

8. Juan Pablo Montoya

Williams years: 2001-04
Williams wins: 4
Williams titles: 0

Separating Ralf Schumacher and Montoya for this record was robust, however the Colombian scored extra factors (221 to 173) and extra poles (11 to 6) throughout their time collectively, although the German took extra wins (six to 4).

Montoya was additionally the extra thrilling, maybe extra akin to the form of driver Williams at all times favoured. He proved as a lot along with his daring move of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari for the lead of the 2001 Brazilian GP, simply his third F1 begin.

PLUS: How to thrive as an F1 rookie

Montoya was removed from error free, however he was quick and aggressive – and bought himself into the title battle in 2003 earlier than being scuppered by a penalty in the US GP because of an incident with Rubens Barrichello.

Ultimately, the Williams-BMW-Michelin-Montoya package deal was not sufficient to halt the Ferrari-Schumacher-Bridgestone steamroller, nevertheless it bought nearer than most within the first half of the 2000s.

Archive: How Williams’s last F1 title challenge unravelled

Villeneuve remains the last Williams world champion, breaking through in 1997

Villeneuve stays the final Williams world champion, breaking via in 1997

Photograph by: Sutton Photos

7. Jacques Villeneuve

Williams years: 1996-98
Williams wins: 11
Williams titles: 1 (1997)

Maybe sarcastically, Villeneuve’s least spectacular season at Williams was the one during which he grew to become world champion. As a rookie in 1996 he pushed extra skilled team-mate Damon Hill arduous, whereas there have been some nice performances within the less-than-brilliant FW20 in 1998 earlier than the transfer to BAR that signalled the tip of his spell as an F1 top-dog.

PLUS: Villeneuve on 1997 and the regrets that followed

His 1997 championship win got here within the FW19, the fourth most-dominant Williams ever by way of uncooked tempo.

Some unhealthy luck, errors and a superb marketing campaign from Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher meant the title battle was far nearer than it ought to have been, however Villeneuve did sufficient within the controversial Jerez finale after the Ferrari driver hit his Williams to safe Williams a seventh drivers’ championship.

Prost dominated to win the 1993 world championship in the final season of his F1 career

Prost dominated to win the 1993 world championship within the remaining season of his F1 profession

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

6. Alain Prost

Williams 12 months: 1993
Williams wins: 7
Williams titles: 1 (1993)

Having been sacked by Ferrari and brought a sabbatical from F1, Prost engineered his means into the dominant Williams-Renault package deal for 1993. The FW15C was essentially the most dominant Williams ever by way of uncooked velocity and Prost had a rookie team-mate in Hill.

PLUS: Williams’s rollercoaster F1 ride through the decades

The Frenchman was additionally on the receiving finish of some very good Senna drives, which are usually what 1993 is remembered for, however in actuality Prost was a snug champion.

He maybe wasn’t as combative or thrilling as Mansell would have been in the identical machine, however Prost nonetheless scored seven wins and 13 poles – and he retired from F1 with a fourth world title in his pocket.

Piquet beat Mansell to the 1987 title after their fierce battle in 1986 had allowed McLaren's Prost to steal the title

Piquet beat Mansell to the 1987 title after their fierce battle in 1986 had allowed McLaren’s Prost to steal the title

Photograph by: Sutton Photos

5. Nelson Piquet

Williams years: 1986-87
Williams wins: 7
Williams titles: 1 (1987)

Piquet’s greatest years have been arguably behind him when he joined Williams for 1986, alongside Mansell. The 2 famously didn’t get on and Piquet felt Frank Williams’s severe street automotive accident initially prevented him from stating that he thought he was purported to be the workforce’s primary…

The outcome was an evenly matched duel that allowed McLaren’s Prost to grab the title, regardless of Williams taking the constructors’ crown and successful 9 of the season’s 16 races.

Evaluation: How Williams overcame its greatest setback

The battle continued in 1987 however, following a severe crash throughout observe for the San Marino GP, Piquet was often pressured to play second fiddle to Mansell. He nonetheless stored selecting up factors and pounced when the Briton hit hassle.

When Mansell injured his again in Japanese GP qualifying, Piquet was left to take the crown earlier than transferring, together with Honda, to Lotus for 1988.

Rosberg capitalised on Ferrari's year of tragedy to win the 1982 title

Rosberg capitalised on Ferrari’s 12 months of tragedy to win the 1982 title

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

4. Keke Rosberg

Williams years: 1982-85
Williams wins: 5
Williams titles: 1 (1982)

A swashbuckling improvisor, Rosberg was maybe the proper substitute when Williams’ favorite Alan Jones made a shock retirement on the finish of 1981. Thrust right into a aggressive automotive, albeit a Cosworth DFV-engined one towards the more and more fast turbo hordes, the Finn grabbed his likelihood with each fingers.

Archive: The ‘cheapest’ world champion opens up 

The spectacular Rosberg solely took one victory on his approach to the 1982 crown however, in a season during which no one scored greater than two wins, he was a worthy champion.

The turbo revolution had actually overtaken the DFV by 1983 however Rosberg nonetheless managed a win in tough circumstances at Monaco, earlier than Williams switched to pressured induction Honda energy.

Prime 10: Ranking the greatest wet-weather F1 drives

The 1984 FW09’s Honda was like a lightweight change and never considered one of Williams’s best. Rosberg nonetheless fantastically received the sweltering 1984 Dallas GP.

The FW10 was a lot better, indicating that Williams was a rising pressure. Rosberg scored his final F1 victory within the Australian GP earlier than switching to McLaren for 1986, his remaining F1 marketing campaign.

Hill became F1's first son of a champion to achieve the same feat when he beat Villeneuve in 1996

Hill grew to become F1’s first son of a champion to realize the identical feat when he beat Villeneuve in 1996

Photograph by: Sutton Photos

3. Damon Hill

Williams years: 1993-96
Williams wins: 21
Williams titles: 1 (1996)

Hill wasn’t introduced in to Williams to guide its assault, however he ended up doing that for 3 seasons.

After being a powerful check driver, Hill joined the returning Prost in a race seat for 1993. He duly realized his craft and have become a frontrunner within the very good FW15C, taking three wins and third within the factors desk in his first full F1 marketing campaign.

Senna changed Prost for 1993, as Williams misplaced a lot of its benefit over the opposition when the ‘gizmos’, equivalent to traction management and energetic suspension, have been banned. That made the FW16 tough, and when Senna was killed within the San Marino GP, Hill was thrust into the workforce chief position in tough circumstances.

Archive: Frank Williams on a painful 1994 F1 season

However each Hill and the workforce rallied, the FW16B improved and major rival Michael Schumacher and the Benetton workforce bought embroiled in varied controversies. After a superb win within the Japanese GP, Hill moved inside one level of Schumacher for the Australian GP decider, solely to overlook out following the duo’s doubtful conflict.

Hill was typically Schumacher’s major challenger in 1995, however errors from each workforce and driver meant the Benetton star was a snug champion. The ambiance throughout the workforce additionally meant Williams determined to interchange Hill for 1997.

Earlier than that, although, Hill grabbed his remaining championship likelihood with the FW18. Rookie team-mate Villeneuve took the title to the Japanese GP finale however in reality Hill was comfortably the higher driver in 1996, taking eight wins and 9 poles from 16 rounds.

PLUS: Damon Hill’s 10 greatest races

Jones was the first Williams champion and the archetypal Williams driver

Jones was the primary Williams champion and the archetypal Williams driver

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

2. Alan Jones

Williams years: 1978-81
Williams wins: 11
Williams titles: 1 (1980)

The person that set the template for what a Williams F1 driver needs to be, definitely within the minds of workforce founders Frank Williams and Patrick Head. The straight-talking, non-nonsense Australian starred in Head’s neat FW06 in 1978.

PLUS: Ranking the 10 best F1 cars never to win

A self-professed common qualifier, Jones was a racer and turn into a frontrunner with the FW07. Unreliability value him in 1979, however 4 wins within the remaining six races paved the best way for a title tilt the next 12 months.

Jones scored 5 victories as he beat Brabham’s Piquet to the crown, Williams additionally wrapping up its first constructors’ title with Reutemann within the different automotive.

Some misfortune, the odd error and strained relations with Reutemann value Jones the next 12 months, regardless of him arguably driving higher than ever. He completed third within the standings as Williams received the constructors’ championship once more regardless of shedding the drivers’ to Piquet, and Jones introduced his retirement.

Mansell dominated the 1992 championship and broke the record for the most wins in a year

Mansell dominated the 1992 championship and broke the report for essentially the most wins in a 12 months

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

1. Nigel Mansell

Williams years: 1985-88, 1991-92, 1994
Williams wins: 28
Williams titles: 1 (1992)

Not at all times the best driver to work with, Mansell was undoubtedly a charger as soon as behind the wheel. And being at Williams appeared to carry out the perfect within the Briton. His 28 victories for the workforce put him seven away from second-placed Hill on the Williams wins record.

After 4 lean years at Lotus, Mansell joined Williams alongside Rosberg for 1985 and shortly grew to become a menace. Victory on the European GP at Manufacturers Hatch was instantly adopted by a second win in South Africa.

Joined by Piquet for 1986, Mansell scored extra wins (5) than anybody else however was famously robbed of the title by a tyre blowout within the Adelaide finale.

Mansell once more set the tempo in 1987 however was dogged by misfortune. His qualifying accident at Suzuka put him out of the ultimate two rounds, guaranteeing team-mate Piquet the title regardless of the Brazilian taking solely half of Mansell’s wins tally.

After two years at Ferrari and his first ‘retirement’ from F1, Mansell returned in 1991. Following a tough begin alongside Patrese, Mansell stamped his authority on the workforce by difficult Senna for the title.

With the gizmo-laden FW14B, Mansell dominated the 1992 marketing campaign, taking 9 wins from 16 races on his approach to the crown.

PLUS: Revealing the tech secrets of the Williams FW14B

Off-track drama then led to Mansell heading to IndyCar however he returned throughout Williams’s tumultuous 1994 marketing campaign and scored his remaining GP victory within the Adelaide finale.

“There are extra tales to be recounted about Nigel Mansell inside Williams than anybody else,” mentioned the late Frank Williams. “He was only one helluva racer. At any time when he went racing the horns got here out and he was off. He was incredible, however tough to cope with generally.”

Mansell was famously denied the 1986 title by a puncture in the Adelaide title decider

Mansell was famously denied the 1986 title by a puncture within the Adelaide title decider

Photograph by: Sutton Photos



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