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Williams FW10
Mansell - Williams 1985.jpg
Category Formula One
Constructor Williams
Designer(s) Patrick Head
Technical specifications
Chassis Moulded carbon composite monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbone, rocker-operated inboard spring damper
Suspension (rear) Lower wishbone, rocker-operated inboard spring damper/Double wishbone, pullrod-operated inboard spring damper
Engine Honda RA 163E 1500 cc V6 Turbo-charged
Transmission Williams/Hewland 6-speed
Fuel Mobil
Tyres Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants Canon Williams Honda Team
Notable drivers 5. United Kingdom Nigel Mansell
6. Finland Keke Rosberg
Debut 1985 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
16 4 3 4
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

The Williams FW10 was the Formula One car built and raced by the Williams team for the 1985 Formula One season. It was upgraded to FW10B specification later in the season.

Contents

Concept

The FW10 on display at the Honda Collection Hall in Japan.

1985 marked Williams' second full season with Honda turbo power. 1984 had been difficult, as the FW09 struggled to cope with the enormous power and brutal torque curve, leading to handling problems which afflicted drivers Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite throughout the season. Technical Director Patrick Head thus decided to make the FW10 stiffer by making the monocoque entirely from carbon composite, rather than the aluminium honeycomb construction of previous years. This construction technique had been pioneered by the McLaren team with their MP4/1 in 1981, and was in the process of being adopted by the other teams for its combination of exceptional stiffness and lightness. In total, nine tubs were built; one was sent to Japan for Honda test driver Satoru Nakajima to drive, and one was a prototype to test the construction process. During the 1985 season, two were written off in accidents: the first when Nigel Mansell went head-on into a barrier at Detroit, the second when he crashed heavily at Paul Ricard due to a high-speed tyre blowout. The Honda engine proved to be extremely powerful, if not as reliable as the championship-winning TAG-Porsche turbo engine in Alain Prost's McLaren MP4/2B, with Head claiming around 1000-1250 bhp in qualifying, and up to 900 bhp (670 kW) in race configuration.

Racing history

The team had a much better season than in the previous two years, scoring four wins and taking third place in the Constructors' Championship. Rosberg won at Detroit early on, whilst developments to the engine in the final stages of the season saw the FW10 win the final three races. Mansell, having joined the team from Lotus at the beginning of the year, won his first Grand Prix in home territory at Brands Hatch, before following it up immediately with another win at Kyalami. Rosberg then won the last race of the season, at Adelaide. However, the team's reliability was still not as good as some of its rivals, and the car proved difficult to drive in wet conditions and at tight circuits with earlier-specification engines, such as at the Portuguese and Monaco Grands Prix. AUTOCOURSE subsequently picked the FW10 as third-best car of the year, behind the Lotus 97T and McLaren MP4/2B, and the chassis also won the Autosport magazine's "racing car of the year" award. The FW10 also acted as an important step up to 1986 and 1987 for the team, in which the FW11 was generally the class of the field.


Complete Formula One results

(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1985 Williams Honda RA 163E V6 (t/c) G BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 71 3rd
Nigel Mansell Ret 5 5 7 6 Ret DNS Ret 6 Ret 6 11 2 1 1 Ret
Keke Rosberg Ret Ret Ret 8 4 1 2 Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret 4 3 2 1

References

Books
  • Hamilton, Maurice (ed.) (1985). AUTOCOURSE 1985-86. Hazleton Publishing. ISBN 0-905138-38-4.  
Awards
Preceded by
McLaren MP4/2
Autosport
Racing Car Of The Year

1985
Succeeded by
Williams FW11
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