In only its second season of competition, Williams finishes runner-up in the constructors' championship. The team is beaten by Ferrari, who also win the drivers' title with Jody Scheckter. The FW07 isn’t ready for the start of the season, so Jones and Regazzoni are forced to race FW06s until the Belgian Grand Prix. When the ground effect FW07 makes its debut, however, it's immediately competitive. Clay Regazzoni wins the team’s first race, at Silverstone, and Alan Jones is the man to beat during the second half of the year, winning four races. Off-track, Williams continues to expand rapidly. Patrick Head understands the increasing importance of aerodynamics in F1, so the team buys a wind tunnel from Lola.
Engine: Cosworth V8
GPs Contested: 15
Fastest Laps: 3
Constructors Championship: 2nd, 75 points.
Drivers Championship: Jones, 3rd, Regazzoni, 5th
The team’s first victory in Formula One, taken by Regazzoni at Silverstone. In deference to the team's Middle Eastern backers, 'Rega' sips orange juice instead of champagne on the podium.
DID YOU KNOW?
Frank Williams has very fond memories of 1979. "The car was a beauty that year," he says. "Whenever it finished, it won. Suddenly Williams were the team to drive for."