Williams enjoyed its last great purple patch in the mid-1990s, securing four drivers’ (and five constructors’) championships in the space of just six years. Minichamps has just released a quartet of 1:43 replicas of those drivers’ championship-winning machines, which all feature a ‘dirty’ race-aged finish, and come presented in the German model manufacturer's World Champions Collection packaging.
Taking them chronologically, the first is Nigel Mansell’s 1992 FW14B. The British driver won the first five grands prix of the season, and then took another hat-trick across the middle of the year to wrap up the title with five rounds still to go.
Mansell left Williams for Indycar racing in 1993, to be replaced by Alain Prost, fresh from a one-year sabbatical. The Frenchman was initially pushed hard by McLaren’s Ayrton Senna, but a run of four straight wins over the summer set him up to secure his fourth and final world title with two races to spare.
After losing out to Michael Schumacher and Benetton in 1994 and 1995, Williams reasserted its authority in 1996, and then some. Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve won 12 of the season’s 16 races between them, as the title battle raged between the two until the very last round in Japan. Hill emerged triumphant, becoming the very first son of a world champion to take the title himself.
Finally there is Villeneuve’s 1997 FW19. The pendulum swung between the Canadian and Schumacher (now at Ferrari) all season long, until their infamous coming together in the season finale at Jerez. Justice prevailed, and Williams secured what remains its final brace of world titles.
Click Minichamps 1:43 1990s F1 World Champions to order.
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