About

Williams is one of the world’s leading Formula 1 teams. It exists purely to race in the top echelon of motor racing, where it has been winning grands prix for more than three decades.

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Our Partners

Williams has always been a family-run team and the family ethos extends to our partners, who support us every step of the way during the season. Find out more about our Official Team Partners below.

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Our People

Williams is a human capital business, with a wealth of diverse and driven team members all working towards the same goal. Find out more about our people below.

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Our History

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd is founded by Frank Williams and an ambitious British engineer called Patrick Head. The company is based in an empty carpet warehouse in Didcot, Oxfordshire, and enters a purchased March chassis in order to compete in F1 during the latter half of the season.

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Williams Racing confirms Jamie Chadwick for 2021

Williams Racing is pleased to confirm that Jamie Chadwick will continue her work with the team as Development Driver for the 2021 Formula One season.

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Williams Racing confirms Jamie Chadwick for 2021

Williams Racing is pleased to confirm that Jamie Chadwick will continue her work with the team as Development Driver for the 2021 Formula One season.

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Season Stats
  TEAM POINTS
1 MERCEDES 540
2 RED BULL 282
3 RACING POINT 194
4 MCLAREN 184
5 RENAULT 172
6 FERRARI 131
7 ALPHATAURI 103
8 ALFA ROMEO 8
9 HAAS 3
10 WILLIAMS 0
Esports

Williams Esports will compete in a range of online sim racing competitions this season. The team’s roster of elite gamers will represent Williams, racing in series and events on multiple platforms during the year.

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JOIN THE TEAM

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About Us

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is a world-leading technology and engineering business, born out of Williams F1 in 2010.

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Technology Solutions

Well known for our experience in world class engineering, Williams Advanced Engineering have employed that "know how" to develop a series of products based around vehicle integration, powertrain and battery control systems.

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Battery Management Systems

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) has developed a unique knowledge of batteries and their operating systems, electro-chemistry and the science of cell and pack design in the highly demanding motorsport arena

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Battery Modules

Having honed our knowledge of battery development and manufacturing since the formation of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) in 2010 to the point where we are now sole battery supplier for a number of electric race series, we are the ideal partner for any battery related requirements

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Vehicle Control Systems

Our range of electronic control systems centres around a high-performance core digital architecture enabling a mix of standard, proprietary and custom software which can be tailored to meet individual customer requirements

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Data Systems

At Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), data collection and analysis of data to allow informed decision making is key to everything we do

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Capabilities and Technologies

The core competencies of Williams Advanced Engineering are sector agnostic and do not apply only to motorsport or even automotive. Already this expertise is being applied to sectors as diverse as retail and defence. If a company requires support in any of these areas of competence, the people at Williams Advanced Engineering can provide it.

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Electrification Programmes

Williams Advanced Engineering has created very high performance batteries in the Formula E programme, at the cutting edge of battery performance and management. Formula E is a test bed for electrification and new technologies that is now being transferred into prototype vehicles and road cars in award-winning projects.

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Aero & Thermal Dynamics

Williams Advanced Engineering is unique in the desire and capability to apply expertise in high level simulation and aerodynamic know-how from the pinnacle of motor racing to other sectors. Born out of Formula One, working faster than almost anyone else, customers receive an advantage of speed of response and top of the range people, hardware and software providing full aerodynamic services.

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Manufacturing

The Williams Advanced Engineering people and facilities deliver world-class products for the company’s own projects and for customers.

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Motorsport

Williams Advanced Engineering has a dedicated Motorsport group. This multidisciplinary design and engineering team have supported numerous championship winning clients.

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Vehicle Programmes

Working with customers, the teams at Williams Advanced Engineering set targets to define the product concept, analyse, evaluate and optimise it, before then real world development refines the result to perfection.

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Specialist Product Delivery

From productions runs of one to the low hundreds, the people at Williams Advanced Engineering are experts in the quality manufacture of high performance products across industry.

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Industrial and Product Design

The people at Williams are problem solvers, tackling the most complex engineering challenges on a daily basis. Customers come to Williams for help with their new innovations.

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Advanced Lightweight Structures

Williams Advanced Engineering is using its breadth of experience in lightweight materials from Formula One, where lightweighting can make a significant difference on track, and other projects to offer new ideas and solutions to industry.

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Simulators

Williams has extensive experience using state-of-the-art simulators in Formula One allowing drivers to prepare more effectively for Grand Prix.

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Foresight Technology Fund

Launched and managed by Foresight Group, the Fund benefits from a unique collaboration between Williams Advanced Engineering and Foresight Group, combining technological expertise from Williams and Foresight's track record in financial management.

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Working with us

Williams Advanced Engineering is the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, providing world class capabilities to deliver energy efficient performance to customers and address the challenges of 21st century mobility and sustainability. Williams Advanced Engineering is also constantly searching for more top talent to deliver for the company and its customers.

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Contact Us

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WAE sign a strategic collaboration with Nyobolt for the next generation of battery powered automotive powertrains

WAE and niobium-based battery start-up, Nyobolt, announce an engineering and systems integration partnership designed to support and advance an additional solution for the next generation of high power battery systems.

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WAE sign a strategic collaboration with Nyobolt for the next generation of battery powered automotive powertrains

WAE and niobium-based battery start-up, Nyobolt, announce an engineering and systems integration partnership designed to support and advance an additional solution for the next generation of high power battery systems.

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Careers

View all our current vacancies within Williams Advanced Engineering and apply for positions online

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Engineer - Battery Systems

Williams Advanced Engineering are currently looking to recruit an Engineer – Battery Systems, this is a key role where the successful Individual will support the technical delivery of battery projects within WAE - working across different teams to achieve this. It is preferable that this individual will already have a broad understanding of HV batteries allowing them to work with a cross functional team of engineers delivering whole battery design and supporting discussions with customers at both technical and management levels. Duties will be wide ranged and varied and will include working with assigned project managers, this person will support the technical delivery of multiple battery projects involving those within the Battery Systems and Electrical teams and those in other disciplines who are working to deliver design and engineering support. Other duties include: • Clear communication to ensure co-ordination of the engineering teams involved in meeting the battery requirements • Supporting design reviews, FMEA activities, DVP etc. • Assisting technology alignment tasks • Development of technology roadmaps • Assisting in the development of functional safety plans and documentation ensuring that batteries are capable of appropriate certification levels • Documentation and dissemination of project requirements within the battery team • Ensuring that customer’s requirements are understood across the projects involved. • Working with the engineering teams support the establishment of production and test procedures and practices which will aim progressively towards developing a robust solution to the agreed specification. • Leadership of IP identification and protection to pass to our legal & IP teams Knowledge or experience in the following would be advantageous: • Understanding of Lithium Ion batteries • Broad understanding of underlying technologies, sensitivities and techniques in lithium ion batteries • Experience of product design and development approaches and techniques • Familiarity with design for manufacture • Strong organisational and planning capabilities • Good engineering degree in a relevant discipline • Adaptability in working across a number of projects on a daily basis The successful candidate will have a relevant degree in a relevant engineering discipline or in job experience and the ability to work flexibly to strict deadlines This is an exciting opportunity to further your career within a high profile and varied position within Williams Advanced Engineering. Closing date: 16th August 2021. Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion, we are therefore happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments where required.

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Engineer - Vehicle Integration and Certification

Williams Advanced Engineering are currently recruiting for Vehicle Integration and Certification Engineer to join our team on a permanent basis. This is a broad role that would suit an Individual with a strong automotive certification knowledge and expertise, seeking to apply that skill set over a diverse range of products, from mass-market vehicles, niche hypercars, and other industries such as e-bikes, e-scooters and aerospace. The successful Individual will take full responsibility for technical and vehicle conformity activities around WAE diverse programmes. They will collaborate with Lead Integration Engineers and the wider project teams to provide vehicle integration activities from initial concept through development and into production release. This will likely include influencing vehicle package, attribute setting, DFMEA and organising certification & development activities. The engineer will be responsible for vehicle integration activities and therefore should have a wide knowledge in all vehicle systems, particularly Powertrain and/or Chassis systems. Expert knowledge of certification, legislation, homologation, market requirements and compliance is essential. (suspension, steering, brakes, etc) or occupant packaging would be beneficial. This role will Include attending and documenting design reviews, influencing vehicle package, attribute setting and organising certification & development activities. A Working knowledge of Siemens NX 7.5, TeamCentre or CATIA V5 would be advantageous. You will have a degree in mechanical, automotive, electrical or aerospace engineering and experience of design, project management or certification within the specialist automotive or motorsport industry or be able to show that your extensive experience in an advanced engineering environment is transferable. This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and enthusiastic team within Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Closing date: 16th August 2021. Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion. If you have a disability, we are happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments.

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Lead Engineer - Vehicle Integration

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited are currently recruiting for a Lead Engineer - Vehicle Integration on a permanent basis. This is a high-level role providing technical leadership of programmes across WAE project portfolios. For the majority of WAE projects, the Lead Engineer will lead the project with the aid of a Project Manager, taking overall technical responsibility to achieve project success. They will lead all vehicle integration activities from initial concept through to project completion and deliver to its milestones – keeping the client and internal stakeholders informed throughout. For major vehicle programmes, the Lead Engineer would work with a Programme Manager, and a Chief Engineer, to carry-out all vehicle or electric propulsion integration activities, including concept layout, packaging studies, attribute setting, DFMEA, DVP, benchmarking and markets/certification requirements. Additional duties include: • Attribute setting, DVP creation, and attribute monitoring. • Be the point of escalation and system integration decision to balance the objectives and priorities of the project. • Developing solutions that are suitable for volume production and are capable of integration into full vehicle programmes. • Be responsible for understanding customer requirements, generating project scope and system specifications and for taking engineering designs from concept through to manufacture. • Work with Business Development team to create a proposition and a plan that meets the needs of the customer • Mentoring team members, and leading projects by example. • Provide direction in concepting, packaging reviews, and provide overall guidance for layout and clash-conflict. • Work closely with purchasing and production departments to ensure cost and manufacturing capability. The successful Individual will have wide knowledge of vehicle architecture and across multiple vehicle systems, with electrification of particular interest and experience of running aspects of a team involved in complex technical projects Knowledge of lightweight design and composite structures would be beneficial also an understanding of occupant packaging & vehicle certification/homologation would be advantageous in this role. The successful applicant will have a degree and extensive experience in mechanical, automotive or aerospace engineering. A working knowledge of Siemens NX11, TeamCentre or Catia V5 would be advantageous. This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and enthusiastic team within Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Closing date: 16th August 2021. Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion. If you have a disability, we are happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments.

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Principal Engineer - Electrical Systems

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited are currently recruiting for a Principal Engineer – Electrical Systems This is a senior role in the Electrical Systems Team the successful Individual will be responsible for designing and developing the electrical systems and architectures deployed in various products ranging from Hybrid energy storage systems to whole vehicles. Duties will be wide ranging and include generating system and component requirements, based on features lists and cascaded project requirements and attributes, defining suitable architectures for both systems and whole vehicles, including managing signal databases. This role will also require management of suppliers, delivering components or systems to a project and assisting with the build and fault-finding of projects. The successful Individual will undertake hazard analysis, risk management and DFMEA for components and systems as required and define and execute system test and validation activities. The successful candidate will have a good understanding of On Vehicle networks, support vir-tual and physical builds for components and vehicles and have the ability to work to strict deadlines. To be effective in this role the Individual will have extensive experience and proven track rec-ord in electrical systems within the automotive or Autosport sectors, hold a degree in a related subject and will be able to demonstrate good communication and Interpersonal skills. The role will require the Individual to Support technical and project reviews and Preparing and presentation reports for Internal stakeholders and external customers. Experience in some, or all of the following would be advantageous in this role: • Experience of Electric Vehicles – HV charging, HV battery and HV powertrain systems • Working knowledge of Vector tools including CANalyzer • Experience of Requirements Capture Tools, such as Siemens Polarion or IBM Rational Doors • Has worked with developing ISO26262 compliant systems. This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and varied position within Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion. If you have a disability, we are happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments.

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Procurement Officer

Williams Advanced Engineering is looking to recruit an experienced Procurement Officer on a permanent basis reporting to the Procurement Team Leader. The successful candidate will have at least two years’ experience in a similar role and ideally hold or be working towards MCIPS or equivalent. This is an integral role, responsible for management of the supply base to ensure effective supply of product and services delivered correct to specification, schedule and at minimum cost to support a multi programme demand. The post holder will be responsible for the on-time delivery of conforming materials and parts, for new and existing product in conjunction with supplier quality assurance team. They will create and report against Product/Category/Commodity/Programme procurement strategy gaining consensus with internal and external stakeholders throughout. An important part of the role is to carry out commercial negotiations, including design and development, tooling and piece price determining supplier selection and nomination in conjunction with supplier quality assurance team. The successful candidate will drive the VE/VA and DFM process with suppliers and engineering to achieve quality, cost and delivery targets and will prepare and issue of RFQ’s. They will be expected to lead on cost and budget, providing clear and accurate data into the programme BOM. In addition, they will be required to complete commercial checks of supplier payment terms, delivery terms and general terms and conditions to ensure that all are aligned with the business or its customer’s requirements. Other key activities include: • Reporting of procurement status at programme reviews and gateways to senior management; • Leading the resolution of supplier quality concerns when non-conforming product is identified, ensuring proper root cause analysis is carried out and robust corrective action implemented; • Coordinating NDA’s with supplier and the business legal team; • Responsibility for resolving any invoice queries arising from PO’s; • Conducting supplier assessment audits with supplier quality assurance team to identify potential new suppliers and developing supplier performance measures in conjunction with supplier quality assurance and logistics; • Delivering special project activity alongside normal duties (E.G. ISO9001/MRP system roll out). To be successful in the role you will have the ability to review and understand technical proposals, technical drawings and specifications along with excellent problem-solving skills. You will be able to work under own initiative and under pressure in a fast-paced environment. We are seeking someone with excellent communication skills both written and verbal, proven negotiation skills in a similar environment and the ability to establish strong relationships internally and externally. The successful individual will have experience of leading a team in reacting quickly to immediate operational requirements. Supplier visits are part of the role so a clean driving licence is essential along with Microsoft Excel and office skills. This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and varied position within Williams Advanced Engineering. The closing date for this role is Friday 6th August 2021 Williams Advanced Engineering is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion. If you have a disability, we are happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments.

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Product Manager

Williams Advanced Engineering are looking to recruit a Product Manager on a permanent basis reporting to the Director of Products Business. This is a high profile and critical role, responsible for leading the development and day to day execution of the VX product range. This is a product family which includes hardware, embedded software and a SaaS cloud-delivered analytics platform. Key responsibilities: • Coordinate development on a day-to-day basis, working closely with internal/external hardware and software developers, to ensure that technology, business and customer objectives are achieved • Act as the “voice of the customer” in feature and functionality development • Support the generation and validation of business cases and commercial sensitivities such as pricing • Define the prioritised development roadmap for the relevant product family, incorporating new features (as requested by customers and from WAE’s own innovation) and bug fixes • Creatively identify new opportunities (functionality and UX) for additional customer value creation • Plan and execute implementation, including product launch • Manage the product through its lifecycle, including the development of variants • Product manage software platform operations after launch, to deliver superior service to customers • Report on development progress (managing to the delivery plan, cost and other KPIs), and maintain and manage the project risk register Experience and qualifications: • Demonstrated successful ownership of a product development group, including for cloud-based advanced software products (analytics; big data), from product inception through launch to lifecycle management • Project management experience, and experience of agile and scrum methodologies • Agility to span technology, operational, commercial and “soft” elements of the product • Commercial / strategic mindset and ability to represent the product credibly in front of customers, driving successful commercial outcomes • Ability to influence a range of stakeholders across the business, while leading the development process • Comfortable with ambiguity • Articulate, structured approach to work, with strong communication skills and gravitas to attract credibility from senior stakeholders • Experience building a new product development function within an organisation would be beneficial but is not essential • Automotive, IoT or other industrial sector experience could be beneficial but is not essential – strong candidates from other sectors are encouraged to apply • Hardware experience (in addition to software) is helpful but not essential • Passion for technology and interest in the growth of electric mobility • Proficiency with standard office software and product development/project management software tools • Strong undergraduate degree This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and varied position within Williams Advanced Engineering. The closing date for this role is Friday 6th August 2021. Williams Advanced Engineering is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion. If you have a disability, we are happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments.

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Senior Engineer - Performance Simulation

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited are currently recruiting for a Senior Engineer - Performance Simulation on a permanent basis in the Vehicle Integration team. The successful Individual will be responsible for providing performance simulation analysis and capability development to support the companies diverse project portfolio. Duties will be wide ranging and include, aiding conceptual direction, design-development and providing verification of designed systems. This role includes interacting with internal and external customers, supporting project teams to achieve deliverables and demonstrating good communication and interpersonal skills.  Additional duties include: Development of core vehicle framework using Matlab / Simulink. Developing co-simulation toolsets within Williams Advanced Engineering. Detailed analysis of simulation results and creation of comprehensive post processing. Aiding correlation activity with input to physical testing, calibration and validation. Work closely with project Technical Lead to fulfil customer requirements. Presentation, reporting and discussion of analysis results. To balance multiple concurrent projects and manage your own workload The Senior Engineer be responsible for the creation, development and running of performance simulations,1d drivecycle simulation, mulitibody analysis using Simpack and objective manoeuvres in Carmaker. The successful applicant will have a degree in mechanical, automotive or aerospace engineering and have experience of using Matlab and Simulink systems modelling with a base understanding of electric powertrains and battery systems. Practical experience of C++ Programming, vehicle set up or test rig would be beneficial. Within this role a familiarity with principles of Optimal Control would be advantageous. This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and enthusiastic team within Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Closing date: 16th August 2021. Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion. If you have a disability, we are happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments.

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Senior Engineer - Stress Analysis

Williams Advanced Engineering are currently recruiting for a Senior Engineer – Stress Analysis. This is a key role where the successful individual will be responsible for aiding conceptual direction, design-development and developing toolsets and methodologies for improved correlation with physical test. The successful candidate will be responsible for the creation, development and running of stress analysis simulations including: o Implicit analysis in response to service loads o Explicit analysis in response to crash requirements o Modal and frequency response simulation o Fatigue analysis and calculation The successful Individual will aid correlation activity with input to physical testing, calibration and validation, they will detail analysis of simulation results and will be responsible for the creation of comprehensive post processing. This role will also involve presenting and reporting analysis results in design reviews and working across a matrix structure, supporting cross functional project teams and departments within the business. You will have the ability to balance multiple concurrent projects and manage your own workload. The successful applicant will have a degree in either Mechanical, Aerospace or Automotive engineering and will demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills. Experience of stress simulation with one or more of the following is required for this position: o Implicit analysis, ideally using Altair OPTISTRUCT o Explicit analysis, ideally using Altair RADIOSS or LS-Dyna o Fatigue analysis, ideally using nCode or FEMFAT Knowledge of running non-linear analysis, some practical experience of physical testing and experience in analysis composite structures would be beneficial. Experience in the automotive or motorsport industry and a working knowledge of TeamCentre and of CATIA V5 or Siemens NX would also be advantageous. This is an exciting opportunity to further your career in a growing and varied position within Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity and inclusion, we are therefore happy to discuss reasonable job adjustments where required.

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Event Rooms

10 multi-purpose event rooms offering great flexibility for events of up to 200 guests in a modern and inspiring surrounding

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Driver Suites

The Ayrton Senna, Piers Courage and Alan Jones driver suites

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Circuit Gallery A

The Monza and Hockenheim meeting rooms

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Circuit Gallery B

The Barcelona, Estoril and Jerez event rooms

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Museum & Tours

Housed in the award-winning Williams Conference Centre is Sir Frank Williams' private Williams Grand Prix Collection, the largest of its kind in the world, spanning the history of the Williams F1 team since 1978

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Gift Vouchers

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Activities

A wide range of activities are available at the Williams Conference Centre and can be used for team building and hospitality days or to enhance your events.

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Race Day Hospitality

Hosted at the Williams Conference Centre we offer a unique way to view an F1 race, with a review of qualifying, an exclusive live link up to a team member from the track, followed by the race itself

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Dining & Celebrations

We not only pride ourselves on the first class facilities and service we offer at the Williams Conference Centre, but also on our 5 star catering. Our in-house caterers offer the highest standard of cuisine, where possible using local organic suppliers and fair-trade produce

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Private Dining

As part of the first class facilities and service we offer at the Williams Conference Centre, we pride ourselves on our 5 star catering

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Car History

Williams Car History

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Guardians Of Honour

Williams has an ever-growing catalogue of illustrious Grand Prix cars. Now Jonathan Williams and Dickie Stanford must dovetail this sumptuous history with the high-flying Formula 1 team of today

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GUARDIANS OF HONOUR

Williams has an ever-growing catalogue of illustrious Grand Prix cars. Now these two men must dovetail this sumptuous history with the high-flying Formula 1 team of today Writer Simon Arron, photographer Matthew Howell

The northern end of the A338 is something of a throwback, a reminder that Britain can still be a nice place to drive as it cuts between open countryside, the landscape speckled with pheasants and sheep. Close to Grove, Oxon, a small roundabout interrupts the flow and filters into a smart engineering complex, set back discreetly from the main road. There are no ceremonial placards to tell the wider world what goes on here, nor what has been achieved, but a sign by the roadside reads, very simply, 'Williams F1'.

The Grand Prix team is based here, of course, as are Williams Advanced Engineering and, between them, the Williams Conference Centre, which does what it says on the tin and also houses the family museum – the Williams Collection. For the past year or so, this has been the platform for another new business, Williams Heritage, whose mission is to preserve, showcase, run, sell and service cars from the team's back catalogue. It is overseen by Jonathan Williams, Sir Frank's son, and Dickie Stanford, who first joined the company 30 years ago and has since served as chief mechanic and F1 team manager, among other things.

The main exhibition hall is notable for its striking ambience, darkness prevailing but subtle spotlights picking out many a purposeful line. At the time of our visit, only one car stood apart from the F1 silhouettes, an ex-Alain Menu Renault Laguna that Williams Touring Car Engineering once ran in the BTCC. There is much more to this, however, than the display area.

"The museum houses what we call our 'prime' cars," Williams says. "There are 123 chassis on the books at present – we sold about 10 last year – and the company owns 120. We are custodians of the other three, although one of those [not on view] is an Earth Dreams Honda F1 car from 2008…"

Stanford elaborates: "It belongs to Rubens Barrichello, but he has yet to pick it up. He asked us to collect it from the Honda/Brawn factory and store it for him, which we did, but now he needs to pay for it to be freighted to Brazil. We're still waiting…"

Although the Williams F1 tale began with Frank Williams Racing Cars, in 1969, there is nothing here that pre-dates 1978, when Patrick Head's first Williams Grand Prix Engineering chassis, the FW06, was launched.

"I recall Bobby Rahal sending my dad a note," Williams says, "telling him that an ex-Piers Courage Brabham BT26 was coming on the market and wondering whether he'd be interested. But he said, 'For this museum, it's the Patrick Head cars onwards. The earlier stuff is part of my history, but I don't want it in a museum that should represent where Patrick and I started'. He has been very consistent on that.

"At Goodwood in 2009, though, there were two 40th anniversary celebrations – one for my father's time in F1 and the other for the Porsche 917. It had never occurred to me that the two things coincided! The Goodwood team sourced a few older cars with Williams associations and there was a De Tomaso 505 among them. Dad was being wheeled around, stopped by the De Tomaso and said, 'Wow, that's so pretty. I haven't seen one of those since the early 1970s'. I thought it would be a difficult car for him, because of its association with Piers' fatal accident at Zandvoort, but it really caught his attention and he even mentioned that he'd quite like to own it, which threw me, although the idea was never pursued."

In relatively recent times, the only obvious interloper in the collection was an ex-Alain Prost 641, from 1990. "In its own way," Williams says, "even that was part of our history. We'd signed a contract to run Jean Alesi in 1991, then Ferrari made a fairly late bid for him because Nigel Mansell had unexpectedly announced his retirement at Silverstone.

"Dad did once say that he'd like to dedicate a small corner of the museum to our competitors' cars – a Piquet Brabham BT49, a McLaren MP4/2 and so on. That was his thinking at the time, so the 641 was part of our settlement with Ferrari. I think we got some money, but we also got the car. We had it for 12 years. It was fully operational – and even went back to Italy for a complimentary service – but we eventually sold it on. It was becoming too much of a star attraction in what was supposed to be a Williams museum, simply because it was so distinctive."

With a set amount of space and an inventory that will but grow in future years, the museum is likely to become thematic, with a rotating cast and areas set aside for the company's non-F1 projects, such as the aforementioned Laguna, the Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR of 1999 and the MG Metro 6R4. In F1 terms, though, the post-Head collection is complete.

"We have at least one of everything from the FW06 to the FW36," Williams says, "and hopefully in a year or so we'll get a very good FW37. We even have cars that didn't race, most notably the FW08B six-wheeler and also the FW15D, a passive version of the C that was used for testing early in 1994, prior to the arrival of the FW16. That was a Senna test car, although it was quite well used by the time he arrived in January 1994. It had been fettled around Prost and Hill, but Senna used a bigger steering wheel and his hands began rubbing on the cockpit sides. During testing, the factory gave permission for a travelling composites technician to make a small adjustment to the cockpit surround."

Stanford adds: "The modification was tiny and we were all wondering whether it was actually worth it, but it did the trick."

Not only are the cars present and correct, then, but most of them are still operational – despite obvious hurdles such as software obsolescence. Readers with long memories might recall a Motor Sport feature from five years ago, when Damon Hill's Williams FW18 cut out during the F1 world championship's 60th anniversary celebration in Bahrain. At the time, Stanford and his team were unable to interrogate the chassis because their MS-DOS laptop was on the blink and nobody at the circuit knew how to fix it.

"Happily," Stanford says, "there is now a company that can take a modern laptop and convert it to run older software such as MS-DOS. In that particular incident with Damon and the FW18, we pulled the fuel tank to bits that night and then realised the problem had in fact been a consequence of running too high a gear at too few revs, which the Renault alternator didn't like. After we put it all back together, we told him to use low gears with high revs and the problem went away…"

Williams: "It was pretty much what happened to Nigel Mansell at Montréal on the final lap in 1991. He was trundling around a first-gear hairpin in third, waving to the crowd, and the Renault alternator couldn't keep up. The car fired up perfectly in the garage after being towed back, which made it all the more painful."

Some cars are likely to remain ever static – there aren't enough parts to run the Honda-powered FW09 or FW10, for instance, but Williams Heritage retains two Honda engines and can operate an FW11. "The FW14B's active systems still work, too," Stanford says. "In fact we got it up and running not so long ago."

Williams: "Yes, up, running and stalling – although it was an engine problem rather than anything to do with the active ride."

Stanford: "It turned out that we had a Ligier-spec engine, which we didn't know at the time. Their V10s were the same as ours, but once up and running the engine was looking for Ligier electronics that we didn't have. Sorting that out is a future project."

Williams: "It was just one of those things. We were due three engines from Renault and obviously nobody noticed that one was originally from a Ligier – we didn't find that out until 2012! We were attempting some straight-line running and the same thing happened twice, once with Valtteri Bottas and once with Karun Chandhok. It would be fine in first gear, then they'd select second and you'd hear brr-brr-brr followed by silence as it coasted to a halt. It wasn't so much powered by Renault back then as by a Land Rover Discovery, which we kept using to tow it back."

Rest assured, though, that the car will run again. The intention is to operate the fleet at as many suitable events as possible – the Goodwood Festival of Speed is an obvious destination – albeit purely on a demonstration basis.

"These cars were designed to run at a very high limit," Williams says, "but when you run at the kind of level heritage operations require, they are actually relatively simple. If you bring them back from the threshold of trying to hustle around Silverstone in 1min 20sec, or whatever, and say 'Let's try to get around Silverstone in 1min 50sec', they become quite user-friendly."

There are sound reasons for not wanting to see the cars returning to full competitive mode.

"We've just turned down a trip to Suzuka with the FW18," Stanford says, "because from the information we'd seen it was clear the event was likely to turn into some kind of race – and obviously we don't want to risk damage to Damon's title-winning car.

"All the cars in our collection are special and we don't want to have to repair a monocoque. They are as they were at the end of their racing careers, although they have been cleaned and rebuilt."

That brings us to FW19/4, individually the most successful of all the team's chassis. "Jacques Villeneuve used it from the second race of 1997 all the way through to the seasonal finale at Jerez," Williams says. "He used the same car to take all but one of his poles, all his wins and every point that counted towards that title. It's also the car with which Michael Schumacher got physical in Jerez. You can still see the dents the Ferrari's wheel left. There was a rumour that we'd left the tyre mark on it and that a diligent cleaner removed it two years later, but…"

Stanford: "There was a tyre mark, but it had already been cleaned off when the car left the track. The period scuff around the air intake is still there, though."

The idea for Williams Heritage came about because cars in the collection weren't really doing a great deal. "From time to time a car would be packed off to Goodwood or wherever," Stanford says, "then we thought, 'Hang on. We've got all these assets, with engines, so why don't we get them out there?'"

Williams acknowledges the input of the firm's CEO Mike O'Driscoll and says, "Mike has been here two years and has a very good grasp of heritage. He saw value in the team's past endeavours and that gave us quite a strong platform, because it's not as though we've been in the championship for a decade and have enjoyed a couple of good seasons. We've been around for 40-odd years, with 16 championship titles, 114 wins as I speak and, as of 2014, we were a top-three team once again. We felt there was something to pursue. The budgets for such things are a bit chicken and egg: you can't throw money at it from the start but have to build up as you go along."

Stanford: "We have to prove that we can make it a profitable business before we evolve."

For now, that means borrowing spare mechanics from the factory on the far side of the car park – those who work on the current F1 chassis but don't travel to Grands Prix – but in time Williams Heritage hopes to employ its own. That doesn't mean, though, that new 'old' Williams models will suddenly enter the market – it's simply part of the process to service what already exists.

"The only exception," Williams says, "is an ex-Carlos Reutemann FW07C tub we still have, where feasibly we could make up a new car around an original chassis. I can't see us building anything else."

Stanford adds, "We have drawings and it would be quite easy to take a mould from an old set of FW07 bodywork, because unlike modern cars they are not difficult shapes. We'd have to go to a fibreglass specialist, though, because we no longer have any of those at the factory!"

The entry-level to Williams ownership? It's probably an ex-show car, one that has been stripped down at the end of its racing life and lightened as much as possible to save freight costs during a worldwide tour of shopping malls. "You might find such a car that was driven by somebody like Juan Pablo Montoya," Williams says. "It will have a podium finish under its belt: it won't have an engine or gearbox, and the pedals might be missing, but it is the real thing."

The Williams store rooms are, predictably, a frequent source of intrigue.

"We come across lots of things that make you think, 'That caused us aggro' or, 'Those were good – we stuck them on and they stayed'," Stanford says. "I was looking for some BMW hydraulics recently and came across two complete valve blocks for the FW23, still in their protective wrapping. They'd been machined, put in the stores and then never touched. The amount of work that had gone into making them…"

Such things come as more of a surprise to folk from beyond the factory gates than they do to those within. "We had some clients here not long ago," Williams says, "and one had worked on the design side with two now-defunct F1 teams. He was very impressed with our physical inventory. Where he'd worked, everything simply used to get binned.

"We have a good recollection of procedures and also still have technicians who were very important to our programme in the 1990s. They remain so now. We don't have the means or resources to run an FW15C in the same way that we did in 1993, perhaps, but with our expertise and operational hardware we can operate it in a way that doesn't compromise its integrity.

"Do we have every part from every drawing that has been drafted since WGPE was formed in 1977? No we don't, but I reckon we have about 95 per cent…"

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