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Williams FW08 driven by Keke Rosberg, at the 1982 British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, ML

Williams FW08 driven by Keke Rosberg, at the 1982 British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, by Martin Lee - Flickr.com

The Williams FW08 is a Formula One car designed by Patrick Head which debuted at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix held at the Zolder circuit.

An evolution of the FW07 that it replaced, the car was used by Finnish driver Keke Rosberg.

Rosberg was placed second in the FW08's debut, but it was overshadowed by the fatal accident of Gilles Villeneuve in qualifying.

Powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine, with just over 500 bhp on tap, it was not quite as powerful as the new generation of turbo engines but it was certainly more reliable.

Keke Rosberg went on to win the 1982 World Drivers' Championship.

Williams FW08B Six Wheeler (1982), Engine 3000cc V8 Cosworth DFY, at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, RK

Williams FW08B Six Wheeler (1982), Engine 3000cc V8 Cosworth DFY, at the  2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, by Robert Knight - Flickr.com

The Williams FW08B was a development of Williams 1982 Championship winner and used the close coupled four wheel drive rear end from the FW07D.

The FW08B had 4 driven wheels at the rear and 2 undriven wheels at the front.

It proved exceptionally fast during testing but it was never raced.

Patrick Head specifically said that the reason it was banned was because "someone in a FOCA meeting said it would drive up costs and cause chaos during pitstops".

The FIA promptly limited the number of wheels for all cars to four, of which only 2 may be driven.

Williams FW08C Cosworth, Chassis FW08-07, at the 2010 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, WM

Williams FW08C Cosworth, Chassis FW08-07, at the 2010 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, by Wouter Melissen - Ultimatecarpage.com

The car was updated for the 1983 Formula One season to become the Williams FW08C. Under new regulations all ground effects were out and flat bottom cars were in meaning nearly all the cars in F1 had to be heavily modified or replaced and the FW08 was no different.

Against the turbo cars of Renault, Brabham and Ferrari, Williams were not expected to do as well as they did.

Rosberg opened the season with pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix (the last for a Cosworth DFY engined car) and scored the cars last win with a great drive at Monaco. He would eventually finish 5th in the Drivers' Championship while Williams would finish 1983 in 4th place, the best of the Cosworth powered cars.

The FW08C was retired after the 1983 European Grand Prix. A third car was actually raced by the team at this race and was driven to 13th place by Jonathan Palmer. It was replaced by the Honda powered FW09 for the last race of the season in South Africa.

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