AT&T Williams is among the most successful Formula One teams in history. Since Frank Williams founded Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1977, the team has won nine FIA Formula One World Driving Championships with Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, together with nine Constructors Championships in partnership with Cosworth, Honda and Renault. AT&T Williams currently employs about 500 personnel at its technology campus in Grove, Oxfordshire, England where it designs and manufactures its Grand Prix cars.
The AT&T Williams FW31 is a worthy successor to the team?s legacy of success. Under the overall leadership of AT&T Williams technical director Sam Michael, the car?s design was spearheaded by chief designer Ed Wood. The car?s nucleus is a carbon-aramid and honeycomb composite monocoque. The front suspension features carbon fiber, double wishbones with pushrod activated springs and zero keel geometry. Similarly, the rear suspension is a double wishbone, pushrod design. The AT&T Williams FW31 is powered by a naturally aspirated, longtitudinally mounted 2.4 liter, 90° V8 Toyota RVX-09 with revs limited to 18,000 RPM and estimated output of 740 horsepower. Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a Williams, seven-speed, electro-hydraulically actuated, semi-automatic, seamless shift transmission.
The aerodynamic package developed for the AT&T Williams FW31 by chief aerodynamicist Jon Tomlinson proved highly controversial. As did his counterparts at Brawn and Toyota, Tomlinson exploited a loophole in the rules to create a double diffuser at the rear of the car in order to generate more downforce than the single diffuser concept intended by the rulesmakers. However, an FIA investigation found the AT&T Williams (like the Brawn and Toyota cars) in compliance with the rules. The AT&T Williams was campaigned during the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship season by Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg, the latter of whom scored points in 11 of 17 events and set the fastest lap of the race en route to a sixth place finish in the Australian Grand Prix.