Model produced by: Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps)
Driver: Keke Rosberg (Finland)
Team: Williams Ford
Car: Williams FW08
Results: 1 win, 6 podiums, 1 pole
The season saw many rules changes and innovations. Carbon-fiber mixed with kevlar was used for chassis, brakes and wings. Brabham team invented refueling during the race. Double world champion Niki Lauda returned to F1 with McLaren. The two main technological themes were turbocharging and ground effect. Only large automotive manufacturers could afford to develop the expensive new technology of turbocharging, so only three teams used it: Renault, Ferrari and Toleman. Other teams raced with atmospheric V12 or V8 engines.
The season saw two fatalities and many serious accidents. Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve was killed in an accident during qualifying at Zolder. Italian driver Riccardo Paletti died at the Canadian Grand Prix when he hit the back of Didier Peroni’s stalled car at the start of the race. Pironi, who had been Villeneuve’s teammate, suffered massive injuries to his legs in another qualifying accident at the German Grand Prix and never raced in Formula One again. Before the accident Pironi was the most serious contender for the title.
The season saw 11 different race winners in 16 races (Prost, Lauda, Pironi, Watson, Patrese, Piquet, Arnoux, Tambay, de Angelis, Rosberg and Alboreto). Renault, McLaren and Brabham were not able to beat Williams’ consistance and Rosberg won the driver’s title with only one win, while Ferrari took the constructors’ crown.
See the clip about Brabham inventing refueling during the race
See the season highlights