Benefitting from a Honda V6 turbocharged engine – it was the first time Williams had built a car around a turbo powerplant.
The FW09 also featured an aluminium monocoque, based on that of the Williams FW08 (powered by a naturally aspirated Ford DFV outputting significantly less power) which wasn’t sufficiently strong or rigid to accommodate the new, more powerful turbo engine, said to be so brutal that parts of the Honda block were found to have twisted under force during the race.
Issues arising from the chassis/engine mismatch continued throughout the season, before the aluminium was replaced with carbon fibre for the construction of its successor, the FW10 in 1985.
The redesigned front end of the FW09 gave it cleaner aerodynamics, but the car still generated a huge amount of drag at high speeds, making the jobs of drivers Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite very difficult.
At the Austrian Grand Prix, Rosberg retired his FW09 whilst in the top ten, worried that should he lose control of the dangerously unstable FW09 an accident at the then high speed Österreichring would most probably be massive.
During the season, the Williams Team moved into their new Didcot factory, where they remained for the next ten years and from where they enjoyed much success.
Results in 1984 were not great, largely thanks to the unpredictable handling of the FW09, but despite this, Keke Rosberg managed to win one Grand Prix: the USA Grand Prix around the streets of Detroit, and Williams finished sixth in the 1983 World Constructors Championship.
Williams FW09 Specs
|Designed by:||Patrick Head, Frank Dernie & Neil Oatley|
|Year(s) active:||1983, 1984|
|Official entrant:||TAG Williams Racing Team|
|Drivers:||Keke Rosberg, Jacques Laffite|
|Engine:||Honda 1.5 litre V6 turbo|
|Brakes:||Lockheed vented discs, Ferodo pads|
|Transmission:||Williams/Hewland 6-speed Manual|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW08|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW10|
Williams FW09 Results