Williams F1’s first championship winner is back in action

15th December 2021
Ethan Jupp

Alan Jones’ 1980 Williams FW07/04 that he used on the way to his World Championship has undergone a comprehensive restoration and recommissioning. Taking 1,000 hours over eight weeks, the car had its on-track debut at the all-new Jeddah circuit, making it the first F1 car to take to the track.


Dismantled for transport, the car in its component parts was 3D scanned once at the premises of restorer Fifteen Eleven. This enabled recreations of difficult-to-find parts that were as authentic to the originals as possible.

FW07/04 was completely stripped down to its component parts for restoration. It got a brand new 3.0-litre Cosworth DFV engine while the transmission was stripped and rebuilt.


Breaking in the rebuilt FW07 were F1 world champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Damon Hill, who took the car around the Jeddah Circuit for a feature on Sky Sports. Hill also had something of a tussle with Sky pundit Martin Brundle, who piloted FW07/01 around the circuit alongside the newly-rebuilt car. The car was then taken for a commemorative lap around the track ahead of the race in memory of Sir Frank Williams, who passed away in November.

To top it off, around 21 years on from his 1980 Argentinian Grand Prix win in FW07/04, Jones himself was also reunited with the car during the Grand Prix weekend. It was his car that set a precedent for a monster season for both him and Williams, leading to driver’s and constructor’s titles for that year.


“It was pretty clear it would be a big ask to get it ready for the Formula 1 race at the start of December,” said Managing Director of Fifteen Eleven Design Chris Mellors. “The owner had given us just eight weeks and we quickly realised the full extent of the work required. But when you oversee something like this, you know you simply cannot cut corners in any way; you just make it happen.”

“We ensured we had a superb team around us and were equipped with all the experts we could find from both the ’70s and ’80s and immersed ourselves in that world for two months solid. Of course, seeing F1 legends take to the track after all our hard work was the icing on the cake and we are proud to have played our part in making a little history that weekend.”

Period images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

  • Williams

  • FW07

  • Alan Jones

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