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  Article Image gallery (21) FW12C/10 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1989
Numbers built:5 (Including three updated FW12s)
Designed by:Patrick Head and Enrique Scalabroni for Williams
Successor:Williams FW13 Renault
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter several successful seasons running Honda's twin-turbo V6, the Williams Formula 1 team had no works engine deal for the 1988 season. It proved to be an interim year as a brand-new, naturally aspirated Renault V10 engine was readied to debut in 1989. To bridge the gap between the works deals, Williams opted to run a naturally aspirated Judd V8 in what would be the final year of the turbo-era.

The Judd CV was mounted as a fully stressed member of the newly developed Williams FW12. Designed by Frank Dernie and Patrick Head, it featured a sophisticated 'reactive' suspension. The system was heavy, drew power from the engine and ultimately made the handling unpredictable. The rest of the car was wholly conventional with double wishbones and pull-rods on all four corners. The Judd V8 was mated to a five-speed gearbox that combined a bespoke Williams casing with Hewland internals.

Even though everybody appreciated the 1988 season would be an interim year, the year start disastrous. After seven rounds, Nigel Mansell had not managed to reach the finish once and Patrese only managed to score a single point, finishing sixth at Monaco. Round eight was the British Grand Prix where embarrassment loomed once more. Overnight from Friday to Saturday, the active suspension was removed and Mansell managed to snatch second during a torrential race.

It was a rare highlight of the season, which very much saw the Formula 1 teams operate at two different speeds, depending on wether they used a 1.5-litre turbo or a 3.5 atmospheric engine. Patrese did record four more points finishes and Mansell managed to convert a third place starting position in the Spanish to another second at the finish. Williams did drop from first to seventh in the World Constructors' Championship.

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  Article Image gallery (21) FW12C/10 Specifications