With the FW23, Williams’ chassis and BMW engine were well matched, and this translated into a string of excellent results, including four victories over the course of the season. One for CART Champion and Formula 1 rookie Juan-Pablo Montoya, and three for Ralf Schumacher in his third year with the team.
The FW23 was especially at home on fast, low-downforce circuits such as Monza and Hockenheim, which attests to the power and performance of the BMW V10.
The 2001 BMW V10 was smaller, more compact and more aggressive than was the product of their understandably more cautious approach to their first year back in Formula 1.
The rear wing was also less fussy, although that would change from track to track depending on the aerodynamic requirements of that circuit.
Despite some impressive performances, and race victories, the team were unable to challenge for the championship however, as the BMW engine, as fast as it was, had an unfortunately high attrition rate.
That and driver errors resulting in an FW23 retiring more often than it finished over the course of 2001.
Despite this, Williams managed four wins – three for Schumacher and one for Montoya, and finished the 2001 season with 80 points, and a comfortable third place in the World Constructors Championship. A solid improvement on 2000.
Williams FW23 Specs
|Designed by:||Patrick Head, Gavin Fisher & Geoff Willis|
|Official entrant:||BMW WilliamsF1 Team|
|Drivers:||Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher|
|Engine:||BMW normally aspirated 3 litre V10|
|Transmission:||Williams 7-speed longitudinal semi-automatic sequential|
|Preceded by:||Williams FW22|
|Succeeded by:||Williams FW24|