The genesis of an F1 great
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The genesis of an F1 great

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On the face of it, two seasons was all it took for Williams Grand Prix Engineering to become a world-beating contender. But for years before that, all Frank Williams knew was toil - and the scorn of fellow competitors. Forty years on from the team's first Monaco Grand Prix win, DAMIEN SMITH kicks off our history of one of F1's fiercest competitors...

Officially, it all started 43 years ago - but that's not true at all. Within just two years of its founding, Williams Grand Prix Engineering was the shiny, new irresistible (down)force of Formula 1, but its rise begs the old question: 'how many nights does it take to be an overnight sensation?'

Eight long years of turmoil, tragedy, of missed and wasted opportunity, of false starts and disappointment - the same length of time as the current drought - preceded what was Frank Williams's last chance to really make his F1 ambitions stick as he'd always belligerently believed they would.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Marc Gene
Author GP Racing