An evolution of the Williams FW07, the Frank Dernie designed FW08 debuted five races into the 1982 season at the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.
Incredibly, during the course of the season, the Williams team won just one Grand Prix but that one win was enough to take Keke Rosberg to the World Drivers Title.
This was due, in part, to the fatal accident which befell Gilles Villeneuve at Zolder and the career ending accident that struck his teammate Didier Pironi seven races later, and the heinous reliability of the super-quick Renault team.
The FW08B, a variant of the FW08, featured a six-wheels (different to the Tyrrell P34 in that the additional pair of wheels was at the rear rather than the front), but despite the aerodynamic and grip advantage the extra wheels afforded, the project was shelved when the FIA outlawed six-wheelers for the 1983 season.
For the 1983 Formula 1 season, flat bottomed cars were mandatory, and so the FW08 was adapted to accommodate.
Turbo engines were becoming increasingly reliable which heralded the end for the comparatively underpowered Cosworth DFV engine so widely used amongst Formula 1 constructors for so many years, Williams being no exception.
Rosberg was able to score a solitary win at Monaco, which helped the team to fourth place in the World Constructors Championship.
The Williams FW08 is remarkable as being the first Formula 1 car to be driven by Ayrton Senna at a mid-season test at Donington Park, where he outpaced both Williams’ contracted drivers.
Williams FW08 Specs
|Designed by:||Patrick Head & Frank Dernie|
|Year(s) active:||1982, 1983|
|Official entrant:||TAG WIlliams Racing Team|
|Drivers:||Derek Daly, Keke Rosberg, Jacques Laffite, Jonathan Palmer|
|Engine:||Ford Cosworth DFV 3-litre normally aspirated V8|
|Brakes:||Lockheed vented discs, Ferodo pads|
|Transmission:||Hewland FGA 400 5-speed manual|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW07|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW09|
Williams FW08 Results