Fleet News

Williams tough on drivers – in F1 and fleet

IT is not just the safety of its racing drivers blasting round the Grand Prix circuits of the world that is a chief concern to the BMW Williams Formula One team. It has a strict safety policy for its company car drivers as well.

And this policy for the fleet of Williams Formula One, which reflects its high-profile commitment to safety on the racetrack, has kept at-work accidents to as little as one incident every two years.

Drivers at the organisation’s 43-vehicle company car fleet, provided through BMW, have to pay towards costs if they have an accident and are told vehicles must be handed back in excellent condition.

They are also discouraged from driving private cars, a policy which is becoming more widespread as employers seek to ensure that cars driven on business are properly maintained and insured. Frank Williams, team principal of BMW Williams Formula One Team and Williams F1 told Fleet News: ‘We keep a very tight grip on the fleet. We have 43 cars and five or six pool cars and we avoid people using their own cars.

‘There is a sense of responsibility throughout the company and company car drivers know they need to take safety seriously, particularly with desirable cars. Safety is involved in everything we do.’

Williams added that it was possible for modern road cars to benefit from some of the developments in Formula 1 technology, particularly in terms of crash protection, but whether they would be suitable for mass production was another matter.

Williams F1 (formerly Williams Grand Prix Engineering) was founded in 1977 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head. The duo set up base in a small industrial unit on Station Road in Didcot, Oxfordshire, with a staff of 17 people.

BMW Williams F1 is currently lying in fourth place with 21 points in the constructors championship, behind McLaren-Mercedes, Toyota and Renault.

Its drivers Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld are lying in sixth and tenth place respectively.

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