Behind Ferrari and McLaren, Williams are the third oldest team in Formula One, with a long and successful history in the sport. Founded by the late Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head, the team made its F1 debut in 1977, winning their first race in 1979 with Clay Regazzoni at the wheel. Alongside McLaren, Williams were a dominant force in F1 in the 1980s and 1990s, taking all nine of their Constructor’s titles in these two decades, as well as seven Driver’s titles. During their history, Williams have fielded many of F1’s household names – Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, Martin Brundle, Ayrton Senna, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button all racing for the team. 1980 was the team’s first title success with Jones, followed by Rosberg’s success in the tragedy hit 1982 season. Williams took back-to-back Constructor’s titles in 1986/87, the pairing of Mansell and Piquet proving a fruitful one for the team. Mansell missed the title narrowly in 1986, with Piquet taking the last of his three titles in 1987. Trading titles continued with McLaren in the late 1980s, with Williams bouncing back in 1992/93 with Mansell taking his long-awaited first Driver’s title and Prost coming out of retirement to dominate the 1993 season. 1994 promised much for Williams, having finally signed Senna after years of wooing the Brazilian champion. After a difficult opening two races where Senna took pole but retired – tragedy it the team at Imola of 1994, Senna losing his life at the San Marino Grand Prix. Naturally shaken by these events, Williams led courageously by Damon Hill took the Driver’s Championship to the final race, losing out to Michael Schumacher. Despite these events, Williams still managed their third consecutive Constructor’s title, with Coulthard and Mansell sharing the second Williams seat. Hill won his first championship in 1996, with Villeneuve making it back-to-back Driver’s and Constructor’s titles for the team in 1997 – Williams last championship success to date. Moving away from the successful Renault engine partnership meant a drop in performance before Williams joined forces with BMW from 2000-05. At the hands of Montoya and Ralf Schumacher, Williams returned to their winning ways from 2001-04, Montoya being deep in the title fight in 2003 until late in the season. The 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix victory with Montoya was the team’s last win for eight years, as the team slowly fell away from the front of the field. With titles out of the question, Williams still managed some highlights – Nico Hulkenberg taking a memorable pole position in Brazil in his rookie year of 2010 as well as a handful of podiums for Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld. Williams last win to date was in 2012 at the hands of Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan taking a popular and surprise victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. Moving to Mercedes engines saw a brief upswing in success for the team at the start of the hybrid era in 2014, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas taking eight podiums and a pole position on their way to 3rd in the Constructor’s Championship. Another third place in the Constructor’s followed in 2015, albeit further behind the Mercedes and Ferrari teams. Williams took further podiums in 2016/17 but have since been on a gradual decline, before failing to trouble the scorers in 2020 and finishing last in the Championship – an unwelcome feat achieved the first time in the team’s long and celebrated history. George Russell partnered with a more competitive Williams in 2021 saw the team return to the points and the podium, an incredible front row start in Belgium converted to a rain-shortened 2nd place in the race – a result that boosted the team to 8th in the Constructor’s. Russell’s move to Mercedes for 2022 saw former Red Bull driver Alex Albon take the reigns alongside Nicholas Latifi, the team finishing in last place but at Albon’s hands in particular, a points threat at times. Albon continues with the team for 2023 alongside American rookie Logan Sargeant.
DOB: 23rd March 1996
Lives in: Milton Keynes, UK
Current team: Williams Racing
Born and raised in the UK but racing under the Thai flag, Alex Albon began his career in motorsport in 2005, racing in karts until 2011. 2012 saw Red Bull sign Albon to their young driver academy, with this backing saw Albon gradually rise through the motorsport ranks. After a difficult introduction to Formula Renault in 2012, Albon’s career began to get some momentum with some strong performances in the same series through 2013-14. Moving into GP3 (now F3) for 2016, Albon won four races in his rookie season, finishing runner up in the championship to now-Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Albon’s results in GP3 meant he graduated to F2 for 2017 along with Leclerc, finishing 10th in the standings. Albon spent a second season in F2 for 2018 in a field that included F1 drivers George Russell, Lando Norris and Nyck De Vries. It was a much more successful season for Albon, finishing third in the standings behind Norris and Russell; the trio all earning F1 debuts for 2019. Still part of the Red Bull family, Albon would drive for the Toro Rosso team in 2019, finishing five of the first 12 races in the points. At the summer break of 2019, Red Bull opted to swap a struggling Pierre Gasly with Albon, meaning Albon got his hands on race-winning machinery after just 12 Formula One races. While he didn’t finish on the podium in the remaining races, Albon managed eight points finishes out of nine with a string of 5th place finishes and a brilliant drive to 4th in Japan. Retained by Red Bull for 2020, Albon struggled to get onto terms with Max Verstappen but still proved a reasonable pair of hands considering his relative F1 experience, picking up two podiums and helping Red Bull to 2nd in the Constructor’s standings and 7th in the Driver’s Championship. This wasn’t enough for Albon to be retained by Red Bull for 2021, being replaced by Sergio Perez but remaining as both Red Bull and Alpha Tauri’s official reserve driver. Following Russell’s move to Mercedes, Albon signed for Williams for 2022 alongside Nicholas Latifi, Albon finding his spark again. In the backmarker squad, Albon finished in the points on three occasions, the highlights making Q3 in Belgium and his race in Melbourne to 10th – Albon making his one and only pit stop for tyres on the final lap of the race after starting 20th and last on the grid. Albon remains with Williams for a second season, partnering American rookie Logan Sargeant for 2023.
DOB: 31st December, 2000
Lives in: UK
Current team: Williams Racing
Following junior karting success in the USA, Sargeant made the move to Europe at the end of 2017, competing a handful of F4 races. Switching to F3 for the 2019 season, Sargeant spent three years in the series, showing solid improvement each year –taking three victories and a high of 3rd overall in the 2020 standings. Sargeant’s talent and results in his F3 season of 2021 caught the eye of Williams, who signed him to their Driver Academy. This resulted in Sargeant being promoted to F2 for the 2022 season. Sargeant took his first victory in the feature race at Silverstone which had followed a strong run into 2nd place in Baku. Another race win followed in Austria, and with Williams announcing that Nicholas Latifi was departing the team at the end of 2022, a Formula One race seat suddenly seemed a very real chance. Williams subsequently announced Sargeant will be driving for the team in 2023, pending him accruing enough Superlicense points. Sargeant needed to finish in the top 6 of the F2 championship to secure this, clinching 4th place overall in the standings in the final race, ensuring his graduation to Formula One. Sargeant makes his Formula One debut in 2023 alongside Alex Albon – becoming the first American to race in the sport since Alexander Rossi in 2015.