Another evolution of the previous year’s Williams FW21, the FW22 heralded the beginning of an exciting new partnership between Williams and BMW, who powered Nelson Piquet and Brabham to two world championships in the early 1980s.
Geoff Willis’ input had refined the aerodynamics on the FW22 to be extremely efficient allowing the chassis to exploit the strengths of the powerful BMW engine and perform well on high speed circuits such as Hockenheim and Monza.
It was to be a learning year for both Williams and BMW as, despite intensive testing of their new engine in the build up to the 200 season it proved to be unreliable at first.
The engine was longer and heavier than the Supertec and so the the FW22 featured a longer wheelbase than its predecessor.
Its sidepods also required heightening to provide more engine cooling, compromising the FW22’s aerodynamic performance to the extent that, on slower circuits, Williams added winglets in front of the rear wheels and a wing over the airbox to compensate.
The Williams FW22 was the first Williams car to feature a 7-speed gearbox.
At the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix, Jenson Button became the youngest driver ever to score a World Championship point, with his sixth place finish, while team-mate Ralf Schumacher, in his third year with the team finished in third place three times.
The strong performances shown by the Williams FW22 during the 2000 season were enough to cement third place in the World Constructors Championship, quite a distance behind the McLaren and Ferrari teams, but comfortably ahead of the rest – Williams’ best finish in a championship since 1997.
Williams FW22 Specs
|Designed by:||Patrick Head, Gavin Fisher & Geoff Willis|
|Official entrant:||BMW WilliamsF1 Team|
|Drivers:||Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button|
|Engine:||BMW normally aspirated 3 litre V10|
|Transmission:||Williams 7-speed longitudinal semi-automatic sequential|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW21|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW23|