Chief Designer 1989 - 2005

Gavin Fisher

Gavin Fisher arrived at Williams in 1989 after graduating with a first in mechanical engineering and three years working with powertrains outside of motorsport. He was shortly joined at Williams by Adrian Newey joined from Leyton House/March, and Fisher was able to learn his trade from the best in the business, before earning promotion when Newey joined McLaren for 1997. He went on to prove himself as an accomplished designer in his own right with a series of Grand Prix winning cars, before leaving the team towards the end of 2005.

Harrow born Gavin Fisher graduated from Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire) with a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Upon graduating, he joined Ricardo Consulting Engineers, working with powertrains which he found sufficiently dull to inspire him to pursue a career in the altogether more dynamic world of motor racing.

Gavin Fisher joins Williams

Williams’ Patrick Head gave Fisher his break in Formula 1 in 1989, giving him the opportunity to work with him across all aspects of Formula 1 car design.

When Adrian Newey joined Williams in 1990 Fisher was able to hone his craft under the man widely recognised as the best in the business, and world championships in 1992, 1993, 1994, & 1996 followed.

When Newey decided to join McLaren in 1996 Fisher was promoted to Williams’ Chief Designer and the team’s winning streak continued with an FW19 that had benefitted from Newey’s input prior to him leaving.

But unfortunately it wasn’t to continue. At the end of 1997 Renault stepped back from Formula 1, leaving Williams without a competitive engine, & the Fisher/Willis designed FW20 really struggled.

Williams and BMW

Another middling season in 1999 followed, before Williams’ partnership with BMW in 2000 set the team on a course back to winning ways.

The Gavin Fisher penned FW23 of 2001 was Williams’ first Grand Prix winning car for four years, as a period of competitiveness began that, but for the imperious form of Schumacher and Ferrari could have yielded a championship or two.

Wins in the following three seasons didn’t quite fulfil BMW’s lofty ambitions and they stepped away from Williams in 2006, choosing to buy into Peter Sauber’s F1 team instead of being supplier to Williams.

The announcement coincided with Fisher’s contract, which ended in September 2005, being allowed to expire and he was replaced by Jorg Zander for 2006.

Categories: Team

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