Williams’ 2009 campaign is summed up by a lack of podiums. Nico Rosberg manages a couple of fourth places, but the FW31 – which has a double diffuser from the outset – lacks the punch of its rivals and the team comes home seventh in the constructors’ championship. The return of slick tyres is celebrated by the drivers, as are the new extra wide front wings and narrow rear wings. However, there’s uproar when Bernie Ecclestone suggests the driver with the most wins should be declared the world champion and, in the end, Jenson Button wins the world title in the traditional manner of scoring the most world championship points. Williams’ best chance of a podium comes at Sepang, where Nico Rosberg leads the Malaysian Grand Prix for 15 laps. Unfortunately, he drops to eighth when a downpour causes chaos and the race has to be stopped after 31 laps. Off-track, it’s a busy year for the team. Austrian race driver and private equity investor, Toto Wolff, buys a minority shareholding in the team and the Williams Technology Centre in Qatar is launched in October.
Engine: Toyota V8
GPs Contested: 17
Fastest Laps: 1
Constructors Championship: 7th, 34.5 points.
Drivers Championship: Rosberg, 7th; Nakajima, 20th
Nico Rosberg’s fourth places in Germany and Hungary.
DID YOU KNOW?
At the end of the season the team heads to Losail in Qatar, where His Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al-Thani becomes the first Qatari to drive an F1 car.