The team continues where it left off at the end of 1996. The FW19 is immediately quick in the hands of Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, winning three of the opening four races, and Jacques goes on to pip Michael Schumacher to the world championship. To celebrate his world title, Jacques’ mechanics wear blond wigs in deference to his new look. Jacques also claims a couple of important milestones for the team. At the Argentine Grand Prix he takes Williams’ 100th pole position and at Silverstone he bags the team’s 100th victory. Off-track, it’s another change of engine for Williams. Renault quits F1 at the end of ’98 to be followed by the return of BMW in 2000.
Engine: Renault V10
GPs Contested: 17
Fastest Laps: 9
Constructors Championship: 1st, 123 points.
Drivers Championship: Villeneuve, 1st; Frentzen, 2nd
The world-title showdown at Jerez. Michael Schumacher crashes into Jacques and the subsequent damage to the Ferrari hands the world crown to JV.
DID YOU KNOW?
Heinz-Harald Frentzen scores his first F1 victory at the San Marino Grand Prix.