“Worse for Whiskey” – Williams F1 Co-Founder Discloses Talks With Michael Schumacher Over a Move

Published 08/18/2021, 7:13 AM EDT
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari smiles after the Vodafone Race on Piazza Duomo in Milan during the preview to the Italian F1 Grand Prix in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)


Sir Patrick Head is a well-known name in the sport, having co-founded Williams F1 with Frank Williams. The former Engineering Director of the team discussed his history with his business partner and their team in the recent episode of Beyond the Grid.

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In conversation with Tom Clarkson, Head lauded Michael Schumacher – his career and sportsmanship. Clarkson asked the Williams director if he ever asked Michel to join the Grove-based team. He replied, “No, we never did, actually. I don’t know why, but we never did.”

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If Frank Williams did, he is sure about it, but Head remembered having a brief conversation with Schumacher. Head recalled talking to Schumacher after he won the championship in Suzuka. “He was a bit worse for whiskey as maybe I was. So, it wasn’t very organized; but we certainly didn’t talk about races in ’94 or ’96. I think we were just being silly.”

The historic team had their 750th Grand Prix start in Monaco this year. Williams F1 has proven to be one of the most successful teams in the sport’s history, and Sir Patrick is undoubtedly proud to see his team make their name in the sport.

Frank Williams and Patrick Head

From its origins in 1978, the team has had its difficulties. Although they currently struggle on the grid, Williams was once at the pinnacle of the sport.

Frank was a racing enthusiast since he was a child. He was a driver, mechanic, salesperson, and team manager, and ultimately set up his own racing team. He overcame the initial financial problems of starting his own team from scratch. After having sold his team to Canadian businessman Walter Wolff, who not only lead the team to success but also sacked Frank as the manager.

Determined, Frank collaborated with a young engineer in Patrick Head and used the money from the sale to set up Williams GP. They were the perfect partnership. Where Frank headed the team and brought in sponsorships, Patrick was the creative genius behind their car- the FW06.

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With the help of Patrick’s understandings of aerodynamics and wind tunnel, Williams claimed their first F1 victory at the 1979 British GP.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Williams’ George Russell in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Title contenders and champions in their time, the team has housed legends of the sport. Damon Hill, Alan Jones, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, are a few of the many champions who have graced the Williams seat.

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Currently, on a downtrend, is Williams capable to return to its former glory?

Watch this story: Top 5 Williams F1 Liveries of All-Time

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Shreya Sanjeev

352 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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