Nine months after his car accident, Frank Williams is back at the helmof Williams. He’s awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list and, fittingly, 1987 is a dominant season for the team in which it wins the drivers’ and constructors’ titles. Technical changes at the start of the season do little to slow the cars. A mandatory pop-off valve limits the turbo engines to 4.5 bar and a ban on qualifying tyres sees an end to one-lap rubber, but lap times are still faster than in ’86. Williams gets off to a relatively slow start, winning only one race from the opening five, but the team becomes unstoppable from mid-season. The strength of Williams' chassis design is demonstrated at the San Marino Grand Prix in May when Nelson Piquet survives one of the biggest ever F1 accidents. Suffering concussion, he is not allowed to start the race. Despite this, Nelson recovers and wraps up the drivers’ title at Suzuka when Nigel Mansell’s season comes to a premature end, following a heavy crash. Riccardo Patrese replaces him for the final race of the year. At the Italian Grand Prix Honda announces that it will end its partnership with Williams at the end of the season, one year ahead of schedule.
Engine: Honda-V6 Turbo
GPs Contested: 16
Fastest Laps: 7
Constructors Championship: 1st, 137 points.
Drivers Championship: Piquet, 1st; Mansell, 2nd; Patrese N/C
The team’s 1-2 at Silverstone in which Nigel Mansell recovers from a late pitstop to pass Nelson Piquet for the lead with two laps of the race remaining.
DID YOU KNOW?
The team debuts its first active suspension car at the Italian Grand Prix and Nelson Piquet duly romps to an impressive victory.