An all-new driver line-up for the team in the form of Ralf Schumacher and Alex Zanardi. There’s the same V10 as in ’98 (re-badged a Supertec), but this is a more difficult season for the team. Schumacher gets off to a good start in Melbourne, finishing on the podium in his first race for the team, but the FW21 lacks the pace of the Ferraris and McLarens to challenge consistently at the front. There’s disappointment for the team at the European Grand Prix, which is held in atrocious conditions at the Nurburgring. Schumacher is leading the race and he looks set for his first win in F1 when a puncture forces him to make an extra pitstop, dropping him to fourth. The team also runs a test programme with BMW throughout '99, ahead of the partnership’s debut in 2000. The team also announces a tyre deal with Michelin for the following season. Away from F1, Williams wins Le Mans with BMW for the first time.
Engine: Supertec V10
GPs Contested: 16
Fastest Laps: 1
Constructors Championship: 5th, 35 points.
Drivers Championship: Schumacher, 6th; Zanardi, N/C
Schumacher’s second place in the Italian Grand Prix, in which he finishes just 3s behind race winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
DID YOU KNOW?
Frank Williams receives a knighthood in the New Year’s honours list.