The 1996 Williams F1 car of Jacques Villeneuve is up for sale



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

The 1996 Williams F1 car of Jacques Villeneuve is up for sale

The Williams F1 car driven by former driver Jacques Villeneuve in one of the greatest overtakings of all time has been put up for sale. It is about the Williams FW18-3 car in which Villeneuve achieved three victories and made a famous overtaking on the Estoril track while fighting with Michael Schumacher.

The asking price for the car is £2.2 million. He overtook at the last corner of Estoril in the 1996 Portuguese Grand Prix.

Two things stand out about this car

“This car is on a different level to what most people have experienced”.

said James Hanson, owner of the historic car dealership.“Two things stand out about this car,” says Hanson. “Just how successful it was in 1996, and in particular the overtake at Estoril”. “I remember at the time watching on TV and reading about it – it was fairly spectacular,” Hanson said.

“If you’ve ever driven around Estoril, you’d know how difficult that move would be in a Formula Ford car, never mind an F1 car,” said Hanson. “It’s not for the faint-hearted”. The FW18 was a dominant and elegant car, and many will say it may be the benchmark for F1 car design from the late nineties.

It was designed by perhaps the greatest F1 designer Adrian Newey under the supervision of Williams technical director Patrick Head, while the aerodynamics is signed by Eghbal Hamidy. The car is powered by a Renault 3.0-liter V10 engine, and in 1996 Williams recorded 12 victories.

This brought the driver's title as well as the constructor's title to the team. Villeneuve drove the car shown in the photos in six races that year and recorded three wins, two pole positions, two-second places, and one third place.

The driver and car showed exceptional consistency as the podium was missed only twice. Only his teammate Damon Hill, who became the champion, was better than Villeneuve that year. The Canadian overtook Schumacher as he pursued Hill in a bid to keep his title chances alive.

All those who have driven Estoril to know how difficult it is to make such a move in that place in a Formula 1 car. The car was privately owned for years, and one of the owners was McLaren F1 team boss Zak Brown. Maintenance was handled by the Williams heritage department.