Neat and uncomplicated, the Williams FW06 debuted at the 1978 Argentine Grand Prix with Alan Jones at the wheel, and as a single-car-team they competed in each of the 16 rounds of the 1978 World Championship, with three points finishes, including a second place at the 1978 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
The FW06 was light with a conventional monocoque and suspension arrangement.
As was the norm for British Formula 1 constructors in that era, the car was powered by the Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 litre powerplant.
In an interview with Motorsport Magazine in 2016, Neil Oatley, designer and race engineer at Williams in the 1970s and 1980s alluded to the FW06’s simplicity and Williams’ resourcefulness.
“Obviously in those days you bought a lot of parts rather than designing them yourself.”
“The radiators came straight from a VW Golf, for instance, and we used a standard Hewland gearbox.”
Going into the 1979 season, and with the Williams FW07 not due for completion until the spring, Williams once again turned to the FW06 for first 4 races of the campaign.
Clay Regazzoni joined Jones in a second car. A third place for Jones at Long Beach, masked the fact that the FW06 was being left behind by the newly-introduced ground effect cars, and as soon as the ground-effect FW07 was ready, the FW06 was retired.
Williams FW06 Specs
|Designed by:||Patrick Head & Neil Oatley|
|Year(s) active:||1978, 1979|
|Official entrant:||Williams Grand Prix Engineering|
|Drivers:||Alan Jones, Clay Regazzoni|
|Engine:||Ford Cosworth DFV 3-litre normally aspirated V8|
|Brakes:||Four-wheel ventilated hydraulic disc brakes|
|Transmission:||Hewland FGA 400 6-speed manual|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW07|