Williams Racing Is Bringing an FW08 to Goodwood

by Stefan Lombard
20 March 2024 2 min read
Williams Racing Is Bringing an FW08 to Goodwood
(Getty Images)

Williams Racing is returning to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and inside the team transporter will be an FW08, one of the Grand Prix machines that Keke Rosberg piloted to the 1982 Drivers’ Championship, when he took 44 points to edge out Ferrari’s Didier Pironi and McLaren’s John Watson, each on 39. Rosberg’s sole victory, in the Swiss GP at Dijon, made him one of 11 different drivers to stand atop the podium in that 16-race season.

Accompanying the car to Goodwood will be Williams drivers Alex Albon and Jordan Sargeant, team principal James Vowles, and F1 Academy prospect Lia Block. All four will share seat time driving the FW08 up the famous hill; Albon and Sargeant on the Thursday and Friday, Block on Saturday, and Vowles on Sunday. This will be first time behind the wheel of a Williams F1 car for both Block and Vowles.

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Williams Racing Alex Albon Jordan Sargeant Lia Block James Vowles
(Williams Racing)

The FW08 arrived in Formula 1 in the midst of the turbo era, and though its normally aspirated 3.0-litre Cosworth DFV V8 was underpowered by comparison – making just 515bhp against the 570bhp put out by its 1.5-litre turbocharged V6 competitors from Ferrari and Renault – reliability, aerodynamic efficiency, and consistent points finishes were enough to propel Rosberg to the title. He and teammate Derek Daly helped earn Williams fourth in that year’s Constructors’ Championship.

Keke Rosberg, Alain Prost, Grand Prix Of Switzerland
Keke Rosberg celebrates victory at the Grand Prix of Switzerland, August 1982. (Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)

This year’s theme at the Festival of Speed is ‘Horseless to Hybrid: Revolutions in Power’, which will celebrate more than 130 years of the automobile in all its many guises. The event marks Albon’s second Goodwood trip with Williams, while Sargeant will be making his Goodwood debut. Though never an F1 racer himself, Vowles is an experienced hotshoe, most recently in the 2022 Asian Le Mans series. And Block, daughter of the late rally driver and founder of DC Shoes, Ken Block, is in her first year with Williams in the all-female F1 Academy single-seater series.

“We are looking forward to being at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and sharing our passion for motorsport with fans from around the world,” said Vowles in a press release. “The Festival of Speed is such a beloved and unique event and gives us the opportunity to celebrate the rich heritage of Williams Racing and motorsport as a whole. It will be a dream come true for me to drive a title-winning heritage Williams F1 car. We can’t wait to take on the hill climb and put on a show for the incredible crowds that gather at Goodwood each year.”

The Festival of Speed takes place Thursday 11–Sunday 14 July.

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