STEPHEN LICKORISH JUNIOR JOURNALIST
Anyone attending Autosport International this year might just have noticed that 2017 is a special season for the Williams Formula 1 team. For those who may somehow have missed it, this year marks Williams’ 40th birthday. And to celebrate there was a distinct Williams theme to the show.
First off were some iconic cars. Think the FW07 that Clay Regazzoni took the team’s first ever win back at Silverstone in 1979. Think the FW14B that propelled Nigel Mansell to the 1992 title. Think the FW18 in which Damon Hill claimed a memorable championship in 1996. And then there was the FW25 from 2003. This was a bit of a surprise inclusion – but was the last Williams machine to take multiple victories in a season. That was just the cars, there were a variety of stars in attendance too. The team’s latest recruit, the highly-rated Lance Stroll, was a guest on the Autosport stage on Saturday. Williams’ last world champion Jacques Villeneuve paid a visit on Sunday, and was joined by deputy team principal Claire Williams and performance chief Rob Smedley.
And that’s not forgetting the Williams experience that allowed paying punters to immerse themselves in the history of the team in a truly unique way, including dressing up in retro overalls.
It was fitting recognition for a team that, even after decades without a title, remains an enormously popular part of F1.
Rookie Lance Stroll meets the public