Williams jumps 600th-race party
JUMPING THE GUN: Williams F1 team boss Frank Williams (inset) and his team will celebrate its 600th race a week early with their fans at the 2013 British GP. Image: AFP
LONDON, England - Frank Williams has never been one to hang around, always obeying the adage 'if you stand still in Formula 1 you'll be overtaken by the developments of your rivals'.
So it's no surprise that the team will celebrate its 600th GP start at the 2013 British GP on Sunday - a week before the landmark is reached.
FOR THE FANS
The real number will be reached at the German GP on July 7, a week after Silverstone, but the UK is "home" to celebrate with British fans.
Williams, team founder and principal, said: "This is a remarkable achievement - 78 teams have come and gone or changed ownership since our foundation and our longevity is a testament to the thousands of people who have sacrificed so much to keep us here.
"It seems only right to mark this milestone at the home of British motorsport alongside our loyal fans."
The British GP circuit was the scene of the team's first win in 1979 and their 100th in 1997.
The Williams cars will carry the number 600 on their side-pods and the body work will be emblazoned with the names of the 691 Williams employees who work across all divisions of the group as a tribute to their dedication.
Williams' daughter Claire, deputy team principal and commercial director, said: "Williams has never been an organisation to dwell on what has gone before but this weekend we will rightly be celebrating our heritage and reflecting on some of our defining moments over the past 36 years.
"This is also an opportunity to take stock and look to the future for the next 600 races."
The team founded in 1977 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head has had 297 podiums, 114 wins and 16 World championships, always sticking to their principles and remaining as British as afternoon tea. Nine of those titles were Constructors', the other seven Drivers' with Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.
The team hopes to add to the celebrations this weekend by scoring its first points of the season.
A tough 2013 so far has brought best results of 11th places for Finnish rookie Valtteri Bottas and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who won in Spain in 2012, in Malaysia and Bahrain respectively, but they were given encouragement at the 2013 Canada event when Bottas qualified third in a rain-hit session.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 British GP weekend.