Book Review: Williams by Maurice Hamilton
Monza. While Ferrari and Ronnie Peterson are the first to come into my mind, I always keep thinking of the very poignant archival footage of a dogged Frank Williams jogging on the Monza circuit. Felipe Massa has announced his retirement and its safe to say that of the Merc customer teams, Williams have dropped their […]
Monza. While Ferrari and Ronnie Peterson are the first to come into my mind, I always keep thinking of the very poignant archival footage of a dogged Frank Williams jogging on the Monza circuit. Felipe Massa has announced his retirement and its safe to say that of the Merc customer teams, Williams have dropped their form and been usurped by Force India.
There have been many books written on the WilliamsF1 team and I’ve posted reviews of quite a number of them. A decent read is Maurice Hamilton’s 2009 effort “Williams” around the time of the team’s engine partnership with Toyota. The book is a slight departure from Maurice Hamilton’s normal storytelling – each chapter has a short background narrative followed by a series of quotes like the Christopher Hilton Memories of Ayrton and Hunt books. Hamilton has compiled a series of interview quotes on a variety of Williams related topics from various people who have worked closely with Sir Frank including this family members, Patrick Head, Bernie Ecclestone, Peter Windsor, many of the team’s last drivers, team personnel, other team bosses and motorsport journalists. Of course, there are also very choice quotes directly from Sir Frank himself.
The chapters are basically chronological from his early de Tomaso days, Wolf-Williams, Alan Jones era, Sir Frank’s accident, Honda, Judd, Renault, Imola, Hill-Villeneuve and into the BMW partnership. The 2000-2009 seasons are skipped through very quickly (no quotes from Montoya, Ralf Schumacher or Heidfeld) which is a shame as there probably aren’t too many books that have focused on that period for WilliamsF1.
While reading this book, particularly covering the early days of the team – its quite easy to forget that the famous technical names in F1 like Ross Brawn (bolted together Williams’ first wind tunnel) first cut their teeth in F1 as junior mechanics and engineers. Adrian Newey’s insights to the Mansell-Patrese FW14 era are also great.
Laffite, Daly, Rosberg, Jones, Mansell, Patrese, Prost, Hill, Villeneuve, Coulthard, Zanardi, Button, Webber, Rosberg Jnr all provide quotes and insights.
Photos are a little sparse. Out of the book’s 372 pages, there are 16 glossy pages which include various colour snaps mostly on track action.
Like any book on Williams, it’s easy to look back with admiration on the team’s early pioneering days and its dominance during the 80’s and 90’s. Hamilton’s book is a good read and because of it’s a collection of interviews it will complement other Williams books in any collection.
Wow Factor/Money shot: Driver quotes (including the less high profile ex-Williams drivers).
Suitable for: WilliamsF1, 80’s & 90’s F1 fans.