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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1989
Numbers built:10 (All FW13s)
Designed by:Patrick Head and Enrique Scalabroni for Williams
Predecessor:Williams FW12C Renault
Successor:Williams FW13B Renault
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 18, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFor Williams, the 1989 season marked the beginning of a new era as the team started their ultimately hugely successful partnership with Renault. The French manufacturer's new V10 engine was originally mounted in the back of an adapted 'C' version of the FW12 used in 1988, before the purpose-built FW13 was introduced late in the season. It was the FW12C that gave the Williams-Renault partnership its first victory.

Designed by Enrique Scalabroni under the guidance of technical director Patrick Head and with the help of aerodynamicist Eghbal Hamidy, the new FW13 was considerably more narrow than its predecessor. The front of the chassis was so narrow that the in-board mounted and push-rod actuated springs and dampers were mounted on top of the driver's knees. The rear suspension also consisted of double-wishbones with in-board springs and dampers, which were mounted virtually horizontal alongside the gearbox.

What had allowed the Williams engineers to go for such a slender shape for the FW13 was the very compact Renault RS1 engine. The all-aluminium V10 had a cylinder-bank angle of just 67°. Displacing just under the 3.5-litre limit, the RS1 produced 600 bhp at the start of the season, which had been risen to 660 bhp by the time the FW13 was ready. Used as a fully stressed member of the chassis, the Renault V10 was mated to a transverse gearbox, which used Hewland internals.

The FW13 was first pressed into service for the Portuguese Grand Prix; the 13th of the 16 rounds in the World Championship. Neither Riccardo Patrese nor Thierry Boutsen managed to reach the finish due to reliability issues and for the next round Patrese reverted back to the tried and trusted FW12C. At the penultimate race of the season, the reliability woes were a thing of the past and Patrese and Boutsen finished second and third. Boutsen then rounded off the year with a victory in Australia, where Patrese placed third.

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  Article Image gallery (2) Specifications