The major changes in the Williams before 198 Formula 1 season were departure of the chief designer Adrian Newey to Mclaren, withdrawal of Renault from F1 as an engine supplier and departure of Rothmas as the title sponsor. Newey had departed at the end of 1996, but his input had gone into the FW19 for 1997, so the FW20 was the first Williams car since 1990 that did not directly influenced by talented designer. FW20 was the creature of Gavin Fisher as chief designer and Geoff Willis as chief aerodynamicist. The car was equipped with a Mecachrome engine, which was old rebadged Renault F1 previous year’s engine. Blue and white Rothmans livery was changed to red of Winfield cigarette brand. For 1998, Williams kept both drivers from the previous season – Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 World Champion, and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. While Ferrari and McLaren battled for the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles, Williams fell to the middle of the field. The team won no races and took only 3 podiums during the season, with Frentzen finishing in third at the first round in Australia and Villeneuve finishing third in Germany and Hungary.
|Heinz-Harald Frentzen||2||Winfield Williams|