2008 will mark the thirtieth year of competition for the Williams team, a landmark worth celebrating considering how successful the private team have been over the years. And celebrate Williams will, with the announcement today that the team will be running six different liveries over the course of the winter test sessions. Formula One teams occasionally use different colours during the winter as often sponsors change between seasons and an interim livery is used while these are negotiated. McLaren have used orange and Honda often painted in plain black or white. It is more of a gimmick now, but it is good to see Williams doing something a little different.
Aside from the hope of returning to winning ways and adding to their 9 constructors trophies and 7 drivers championships, Williams will be celebrating some milestones this upcoming season:
- 2008 marks 30 years of competition for Williams.
- The Turkish Grand Prix will be the team’s 500th race.
- This year will mark the team’s 50,000 lap, reliability depending.
- The Monaco Grand Prix will be Frank Williams’ 600th race as an entrant.
- Frank Williams will also surpass Enzo Ferrari’s record as the longest enduring entrant at 38 years.
The first of these special liveries will be rolled in Jerez today, with the other five making appearances as the two month testing schedule progresses.
Have Williams Received Investment?
Williams could also be celebrating the possible investment from either the Baugur Group or from its Executive Chairman, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson. Frank had been hinting last year that his privately funded team would see a substantial budget increase in the years to come, which led people to believe he would be selling out to Toyota, his current engine suppliers.
But with Brad from the IHT F1 Blog spilling some beans late on Friday, and now Pitpass this Monday morning, it is looking as though Williams have decided to go with an Icelandic investment company. The connection between Williams and the Bauger Group could be their toy store, Hamley’s, which have sponsored Williams for some years now.
It is reported that co-owners Frank Williams and Patrick Head have each relinquished 15% of their holding over the company. This news hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it could be greatly beneficial to Williams. And the although it is sad to say, this could be the beginning of the exit strategy for Frank and Patrick. They are no longer spring chickens, but the legacy of Williams and its successes should be preserved and continued.
If more details become available I’ll update.