The Williams FW10 was the Formula One car built and raced by the Williams F1 Team for the 1985 Formula One season.
Designed by Patrick Head and Enrique Scalabroni and powered for a second year by a Honda V6 Turbo engine.
Head designed the FW 10 to be much stiffer by making the monocoque entirely from carbon composite, rather than the aluminium honeycomb construction of previous years.
In 1984 it had been a difficult year as the Williams FW09 struggled to cope with the power and torque curve of its engine, leading to handling problems which afflicted drivers Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite throughout the season.
Throughout the season it was developed and halfway in the season the Williams FW10B variant was introduced which used pull-rod rear suspension to replace the push-rod suspension used in the FW10.
Keke Rosberg proved the speed of the FW10B in the qualifying session of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in which he recorded the fastest ever F1 lap with an average speed of 160.925 mph.
This lap set the norm for almost two decades and was finally broken in the 2002 Monza Grand Prix, by Juan Pablo Montoya. The record stayed in Williams hand's though, as Montoya drove a Williams FW24.
Nigel Mansell won two races and Rosberg another one.
1985 marked Williams' second full season with Honda turbo power. 1984 had been difficult, as the FW09 struggled to cope with the enormous power and brutal torque curve, leading to handling problems which afflicted drivers Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite throughout the season. Technical Director Patrick Head thus decided to make the FW10 stiffer by making the monocoque entirely from carbon composite, rather than the aluminium honeycomb construction of previous years. This construction technique had been pioneered by the McLaren team with their MP4/1 in 1981, and was in the process of being adopted by the other teams for its combination of exceptional stiffness and lightness. In total, nine tubs were built; one was sent to Japan for Honda test driver Satoru Nakajima to drive, and one was a prototype to test the construction process. During the 1985 season, two were written off in accidents: the first when Nigel Mansell went head-on into a barrier at Detroit, the second when he crashed heavily at Paul Ricard due to a high-speed tyre blowout. The Honda engine proved to be extremely powerful, if not as reliable as the championship-winning TAG-Porsche turbo engine in Alain Prost's McLaren MP4/2B, with Head claiming around 1000-1250 bhp in qualifying, and up to 900 bhp (670 kW) in race configuration.
The team had a much better season than in the previous two years, scoring four wins and taking third place in the Constructors' Championship. Rosberg won at Detroit early on, whilst developments to the engine in the final stages of the season saw the FW10 win the final three races. Mansell, having joined the team from Lotus at the beginning of the year, won his first Grand Prix in home territory at Brands Hatch, before following it up immediately with another win at Kyalami. Rosberg then won the last race of the season, at Adelaide. However, the team's reliability was still not as good as some of its rivals, and the car proved difficult to drive in wet conditions and at tight circuits with earlier-specification engines, such as at the Portuguese and Monaco Grands Prix. AUTOCOURSE subsequently picked the FW10 as third-best car of the year, behind the Lotus 97T and McLaren MP4/2B, and the chassis also won the Autosport magazine's "racing car of the year" award. The FW10 also acted as an important step up to 1986 and 1987 for the team, in which the FW11 was generally the class of the field.
- Class: Formula One
- Engine: Mid-engined Honda V6 Twin-Turbos (750 HP/560 kW at 11400 RPM)
- Gearbox: 6 speed manual
- Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)
- Weight: 520 Kilograms/1146.4 lbs
- Tyres: Goodyear tyres with metallic-black coloured BBS rims
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