Again decked out in Winfield red (albeit with a great deal more white), and again an evolution of the previous year’s car the Williams FW21 was more tightly packaged than its predecessor, and slightly more angular.
This was Williams’ second season of a transitional period between a works engine deal with Renault that ended in 1997 and a works deal with German car giant BMW that was due to begin in 2000.
The FW21 remained powered by what was once a Renault engine now in its third season, for 1999 badged as a ‘Supertec’ – a company owned by Flavio Briatore.
This was the second year of the grooved Formula 1 tyre, and Williams’ first with Bridgestone tyres, having used Goodyear rubber for the large majority of its Formula 1 existence.
One strength of the FW21 was its reliability which allowed Williams to finish every race but one.
It was a frustrating season for Zanardi, failing to score a point, but Ralf Schumacher‘s tally of 35, including 3 podiums, was enough to take the team to fifth place in the World Constructors Championship.
Sadly, Zanardi’s struggles were too much for Williams and he was ousted at the end of 1999, to be replaced by a young Jenson Button making his Formula 1 debut.
Williams FW21 Specs
|Designed by:||Patrick Head, Gavin Fisher and Geoff Willis|
|Official entrant:||Winfield Williams|
|Drivers:||Ralf Schumacher, Alex Zanardi|
|Engine:||Supertec normally aspirated 3 litre V10|
|Brakes:||Carbone Industrie discs and pads and AP callipers|
|Transmission:||Williams 6-speed longitudinal semi-automatic sequential|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW20|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW22|