The different shades of Williams Racing

Published on
24 Jan 2023
Est. reading time
4 Min

Take a look at how our livery has evolved over the years

February 6th is ticking ever closer and the anticipation is rising ahead of our 2023 Season Launch where fans will get a first glimpse of our new livery.
From our debut as a constructor back in 1978 right up to the modern day, the look of the team has evolved throughout the decades.
Join us as we take a trip down memory lane to see how our livery has developed over the years.

White and Green

The first car produced by Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head was the FW06, running a predominantly white livery with a deep green stripe down either side.
Green, brought onto the cars as a result of title sponsorship by the national airline of Saudi Arabia, became more prominent as we said goodbye to the ’70s and rolled into the early ’80s.
Blue accents were also incorporated into the design, a colour that would soon become synonymous with the team.
Our first race wins, Drivers’ Championships and Constructors’ Championships would all be celebrated in these early white and green machines.

Yellow, White and Blue

The mid-1980s saw us bid farewell to green and welcome yellow onto our car, alongside white and a more prominent shade of blue.
This trio of colours would adorn our cars until the end of the 1993 season, with plenty of success celebrated in this era.
Three Drivers’ titles and four Constructors’ crowns would come our way in a colour scheme that is intrinsically linked with the era.
We couldn’t talk about this design without mentioning Nigel’s FW14B – Red Five – one of the most iconic racing cars of all time.

Blue and White

A title sponsorship from Rothmans International at the start of the 1994 season saw our livery change to match the brand’s colour scheme of blue, white and gold accents.
Although this design only ran for four seasons, it still had its fair share of titles, though it is arguably best remembered for Damon Hill’s 1996 triumph and the commentary that accompanied the moment he crossed the line in Suzuka.
“And I've got to stop because I've got a lump in my throat.”

Giving red a try

As the turn of the millennium approached, many people were trying new things before the 2000s began.
Well, at Williams we thought we’d give red a try. Besides, another team in the paddock had been running the colour for a while and we wanted to try it on for size.
The truth is Rothmans International chose to promote their Australian brand, Winfield, on the cars in 1998 and 1999, seeing us wave goodbye to the blue we had been running since ‘85.
In came a red, white and gold livery that still brings mixed opinions to this day.
It’s safe to say that the FW20 and FW21 certainly stand out from the rest in our Heritage Collection.
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Back to Blue and White

The turn of the millennium brought with it the start of a six-season collaboration with BMW. It also saw us settle back into a run of navy blue and white liveried machines.
Season by season, the design would change but the two base colours would remain the same.
The dawn of the hybrid era brought a shake-up to our car design; a deal with Martini brought with it their instantly recognisable racing colours that have graced sports cars, touring cars and rally cars down the years.

The Present Day

The design you saw run on last year’s FW44 was an evolution from the new brand that we as a team have implemented.
Don’t just take our word for it, Ed Scott, Head of Creative Design, guided us through the process during pre-season last year.
“The journey that has taken place has been quite detailed and it started way back at the beginning of 2021.
“Essentially we worked very closely with the senior board, the wider teams within Williams and our partners to create the car that you now see on track.”
One of the most striking parts of the FW44’s design was the diamond pattern, which, as Ed shared “is part of our new branding and it’s built into the fabric of the Williams identity.
“Essentially, it’s an evolution of a few different touchpoints within the original branding. The diamond pattern has historical context with premium and luxury sentiments.”
You can read more about how our 2022 design came to be, as well as watch the full interview with Ed, here.
What will 2023 bring?
Well, you’ll just have to tune in on February 6th to find out!
Make sure you’ve signed up and downloaded our official app to get the very best experience at Season Launch.
2023 Season Launch
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