June 26th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Leslie/G. Roche).- The Williams F1 Team will join McLaren and Ferrari in starting over 600 Grand Prix's at the German Grand Prix but are taking the opportunity this weekend to celebrate the achievement at the British Grand Prix; the teams home event.
The first GP win -from a total of 114- for the Grove based team was precisesly at Silverstone in 1979, reason why the choosing of the venue had more significance.
Williams has won 16 World Championship titles over the past 36 years. Nine of these titles have been won in the Constructors’ Championship, with the remaining seven titles being Drivers’ Championships won with Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.
The livery will also be emblazoned with the names of all 691 Williams employees who work across all divisions of the Williams Group as a tribute to their continued hard work and dedication.
Ahead of the Grand Prix for this weekend, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas have shared their anticipation and motivation to score a good result on such a special race weekend.
Speaking in a team statement, lead driver Pastor Maldonado revealed the excitement surrounding the team on their exclusive race weekend: "This weekend has been something that the team have been looking forward to all year and I'm proud to be part of this historic moment."
The Venezuelan also revealed that the track is one of his favourites, adding: "Silverstone also happens to be one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. It has a lot of character and some very iconic corners, the the British fans are always very passionate and knowledgeable."
Maldonado - who finished 16th in last years race - described tyre graining and a green track as the main challenges over the race weekend. However he is optimistic that he can score a good result: "Hopefully we can have a strong weekend and score some points to make the weekend even more memorable for the team.
Rookie team-mate Valtteri Bottas is likewise relishing the challenges of the Northamptonshire track: "This is going to be a very special weekend for Williams, celebrating 600 races in front of our home fans at a track which has a lot of history for the team and is great fun to drive." He added: "Silverstone is a classic racers track - with some very high speed corners which require a lot of downforce in order to be quick through them."
The Finn has had plenty of experience driving the track in F1 machinery after taking part in FP1 last year and driving in the Young Driver Test. He echoed Maldonado's thoughts that "the track is quite tough on the tyres" and that "weather never makes the circuit any easier due to the often rainy and cold conditions." However he feels that "after our strong qualifying in wet conditions" he is "confident" that he can score a good result.
Technical Director Mike Coughlan explained the technical challenges and characteristics of the circuit, saying: "Ambient conditions are typically cool which means good engine power and less chance of thermal degradation in the tyres. The track is relatively rough and tyre energy input is high, higher than Barcelona but much more evenly balanced across the left and right hand sides of the car and even more towards the front. Longer range forecasts predict a dry and sunny weekend but whatever conditions we meet, we will be pushing hard to continue the development of the FW35.
The team later added in a separate press release that they officially celebrate their 600th race at the German Grand Prix but are celebrating the achievement at Silverstone, their home race. For Germany the team will have a special livery on their two FW35's to mark the milestone.