On Sunday 12 November, more than 60 Club members visited the Williams F1 Racing HQ in Wantage, Oxfordshire, to watch the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The day started with a visit to the team’s Trophy Room, showcasing the extensive collection of trophies, driver helmets and photographs. The interactive experiences proved a hit, as Club members tested their skills, coordination and speed during the pit stop challenge, on racing simulators, a supersize Scalextric track and Batak wall. Prizes were awarded for the fastest time of the day or the highest points achieved.
Having cooled off from all the fun and games, members enjoyed an escorted tour of the Williams Grand Prix Collection. It’s the largest private collection of Formula 1 cars in the world and houses more than 40 of the team’s seminal race cars, spanning the team’s entire 30+ years of motor racing history. The collection commences with the inaugural Williams FW06, right up to the present day. Displays include Alan Jones’s championship-winning car from 1980, the infamous FW08 six-wheeler, the championship-winning cars from Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button’s first car in the year 2000 and Juan Pablo Montoya’s winning car from the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix.
The day included a fascinating insight into the history of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the circuit and the teams, through to the actual race. An expert from Williams talked guests through the qualifying session, the final grid positions and the circuit view with information on race craft, braking zones and race strategy. There was also a fascinating live link to the control room for a Q&A with a senior race engineer, plus an exclusive live interview with driver Lance Stroll, just one hour before the race commenced.
Following a delicious lunch, guests were ushered through to watch a live race screening of the 35th Brazilian Grand Prix, which saw its fair share of battles through the pack. While the Formula 1 World Championship may have already been decided, there were still pertinent points to be grabbed in Brazil. Sebastian Vettel raced into victory at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, a commanding performance to beat the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in second, with Kimi Raikkonen taking third. Lewis Hamilton, crowned World Champion in Mexico, had crashed in qualifying but fought back with a determined and aggressive drive, making his way up to fourth position. Williams driver Felipe Massa secured seventh place in his final Brazilian Grand Prix, ahead of his retirement at the end of the season, receiving a huge reception from the home crowd and those present in the room.
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