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Williams FW14B

The Williams FW14B monopolised the 1992 F1 season. Nigel Mansell won nine races and the Drivers’ Championship in it, fellow driver Riccardo Patrese won once and finished second six times, and the Williams team won the Constructors’ Championship.

Active suspension

One of the FW14B’s key technologies was active suspension – a computer-controlled system that altered the car’s suspension and aerodynamics by hydraulically optimising its ride height and attitude during a race. It was first introduced by Colin Chapman at Lotus in the late 1980s, but Williams perfected it. Active suspension greatly improved cornering, accelerating, and braking, and allowed the FW14B’s underside to remain only millimetres from the ground.

Complex, expensive, and banned

The system was intensely complex, with the FW14B’s computer receiving up to 3000 data samples per second (and the next year’s model – the 1993 Williams FW15C – is considered the most technologically sophisticated F1 car of all time).The FIA banned active suspension in 1994 because its expense gave the wealthier teams an unfair advantage.

Technical specifications

Constructor: Williams, England
Year: 1992
Engine: Renault RS3C / RS4 V10
Capacity: 3500cc
Power: 760bhp at 14,200rpm
Grands Prix: 32

Other cars in the exhibition

Williams FW14B 1992. Photograph by Mikel Ortega, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0
Williams FW14B 1992. Photograph by Mikel Ortega, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0

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More photos on Flickr

The Williams FW14B on its way to the gallery
From the containers to the exhibition space, see more photos of the cars on Flickr. more>