Williams FW14

The first Williams to be designed by the newly-recruited Adrian Newey, having left March in mid-1990, the Williams FW14 was as technically sophisticated as it was aerodynamically efficient. Throughout the course of its life it benefitted from a semi-automatic gearbox, traction control, active suspension and anti-lock brakes, and effectively prompted the FIA to change the regulations on driver aids.

32

Races

17

Wins

2

Titles

1991

Debut

21

Poles

19

Fastest Laps

289

Total Points

After two competitive seasons in 1989 and 1990, Williams and Renault were keen to move up to the next level for 1991 and compete for championships.

Adrian Newey‘s arrival heralded a new dawn at Williams that would be the beginning of the team’s most successful period and introduce a new level of technical sophistication to F1 not seen before.

“[The FW14] was a good car from the word go with a lot of geometric relevance from the Leyton House cars because of Adrian’s presence.” said Patrick Head.

In testing the car showed sufficient potential to persuade Nigel Mansell to postpone his retirement and return to the team as #1 driver for a further two years.

Because of the technical complexity of the FW14, the early part of the 1991 season was compromised a the car suffered from a plague of mechanical issues while the team mastered the semi-automatic gearbox and its other wizardry.

Meanwhile, Ayrton Senna in the McLaren won the opening four races giving him an ultimately unassailable lead in the World Drivers Championship, despite Williams drivers Mansell and Patrese winning seven races between them once the team got on top of the FW14’s gremlins.

Mansell/Williams finished the 1991 season in second place to Senna/McLaren in both the World Drivers and World Constructors Championships.

Williams FW14B

For 1992, the reliability of the FW14B was much improved and it was the class of the field. The only real difference to the appearance of the car was a slightly longer front section and two protrusions connecting the monocoque to the pushrods, housing the active suspension hardware.

“The main difference between the FW14 [used in 1991] and the FW14B was the active suspension.” said Patrick Head.

“It’s remarkable looking back on the programme now – In 2011, we were running the 12th model of the front wing by the end of the year, but on the FW14 the aerodynamic modifications were minimal.”

Williams’, and in-particular Mansell’s dominance in 1992 was such that in qualifying for the British Grand Prix, Mansell’s qualifying time was 2 seconds quicker than Patrese, who, in-turn, was a second quicker than the rest of the field.

For some reason, Formula 1 historians seem to lament this season as being a victory of technology over racing, and yet seem to laud the 1988 season when McLaren-Honda were equally dominant, and yet two thirds of the field were hamstrung with engines delivering 40bhp less.

Williams went on to win both titles in 1992, and found itself at the centre of a scramble between the world’s top drivers to become the next Williams World Champion.

https://www.wi77iams.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/williams-fw14.jpg
Williams Logo
Renault normally aspirated 3.5 litre V10
Tyres

Williams FW14 Specs

Designed by:Patrick Head & Adrian Newey
Year(s) active:1991, 1992
Official entrant:Canon Williams Team
Drivers:Nigel Mansell, Riccardo Patrese
Engine:Renault normally aspirated 3.5 litre V10
Tyres:Goodyear
Fuel:Elf
Brakes:AP/Carbon Industries
Transmission:Williams 6 speed semi-automatic
Preceded by:Williams FW13
Succeeded by:Williams FW15

Williams FW14 Results

1991

USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS
MANSELL DNF DNF DNF 2 6 2 2 DNF DSQ DNF 2
PATRESE DNF 2 DNF DNF 3 5 DNF 2 3 5 DNF 3 3 5

1992

RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS
MANSELL 2 DNF 2 2 DNF DNF DNF
PATRESE 2 2 2 DNF 2 3 DNF 2 2 8 DNF 3 5 DNF DNF
Categories: Cars

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