FW20

The Williams FW20 was the car with which the Williams Formula One team competed in the 1998 Formula One season. It was driven by Jacques Villeneuve, the reigning champion, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who was in his second year with the team.

The team was adversely affected by the departure of Chief Designer Adrian Newey to McLaren, and Renault's withdrawal from F1 as an engine supplier. Newey and Renault had made Williams the dominant team of the early and mid 1990s. Newey had departed at the end of 1996, but his input had gone into the FW19 for 1997, so the FW20 was the first Williams car since 1990 that did not directly bear his design. The car was equipped with a Mecachrome-badged version of what was essentially the previous year's engine. Also gone was the highly distinctive blue and white Rothmans livery, as the company had decided to promote its Winfield brand.

1998 was very disappointing compared to the previous championship-winning campaign. The team finished a distant third in the Constructors' Championship, with three podiums and no wins, a long way behind McLaren and Ferrari.

Villeneuve was unhappy with the season and had no chance to defend his title. He signed with the new British American Racing team for 1999, and Frentzen departed to Jordan after two seasons spent largely in the shadow of his teammate.

Williams used 'Winfield' logos, except at the French, British and German Grands Prix.

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Results

YearRoundCountryDriverGrid PosFinish PosResult
19981Australian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve45+1 Lap
19981Australian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen63+1 Lap
19982Brazilian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve107+1 Lap
19982Brazilian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen35+1 Lap
19983Argentine Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve717Collision
19983Argentine Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen69+1 Lap
19984San Marino Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve64Finished
19984San Marino Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen85Finished
19985Spanish Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve106+1 Lap
19985Spanish Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen138+2 Laps
19986Monaco Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve135+1 Lap
19986Monaco Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen520Collision
19987Canadian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve610+6 Laps
19987Canadian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen714Spun off
19988French Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve54Finished
19988French Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen815Suspension
19989British Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve37+1 Lap
19989British Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen621Spun off
199810Austrian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve116Finished
199810Austrian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen717Engine
199811German Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve33Finished
199811German Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen109Finished
199812Hungarian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve63Finished
199812Hungarian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen75Finished
199813Belgian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve613Spun off
199813Belgian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen94Finished
199814Italian Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve215Spun off
199814Italian Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen127+1 Lap
199815Luxembourg Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve98+1 Lap
199815Luxembourg Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen75Finished
199816Japanese Grand PrixJacques Villeneuve66Finished
199816Japanese Grand PrixHeinz-Harald Frentzen55Finished