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Brian Henton and Williams


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#1 plutoman

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:43

I've been looking through some old Autosports, and came across a piece in April 1979 concerning the new Williams FW07. It states that the car was shaken down at Donington by Brian Henton before being shipped to Long Beach for the GP. Does anyone know how this came about - did Henton have any longer-term agreement with Williams or was this just a one-off?

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#2 Phil Rainford

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:56

His business was in Castle Donington.............may have been a factor?

PAR

#3 plutoman

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:31

I assumed as much ... ie a local driver with relevant experience who was available at short notice. However, a year later Stephen South was sacked by Toleman for testing a McLaren (and replaced by Henton). At the time he tested the Williams, Henton was contracted to the Toleman Group, and had already driven the F2 Ralt a couple of weeks earlier. Was it that Toleman were more lenient at the time, or was it all done openly with Toleman's blessing?

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:28

South tested the McLaren at Ricard on a day when he was supposed to be testing the Toleman TG280 at Vallelunga in front of some Pirelli top brass. He didn't ask Toleman for permission as he knew it wouldn't have been given. According to Alex Hawkridge, Toleman were still prepared to retain South if he gave an undertaking not to drive other cars without their permission, but he wasn't prepared to agree to this. South hadn't actually signed a contract with Toleman at this stage.

#5 ghinzani

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 17:18

Im sure Brian said in his 1985 Motorsport interview that the night he heard Lole had retired finally from Williams he got in his car and drove through a snowstorm to try and convince Sir Frank to give him the drive eventually taken by DD. Would loved to have seen SuperHen in a truly good F1 car.

#6 arttidesco

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 18:27

Im sure Brian said in his 1985 Motorsport interview that the night he heard Lole had retired finally from Williams he got in his car and drove through a snowstorm to try and convince Sir Frank to give him the drive eventually taken by DD. Would loved to have seen SuperHen in a truly good F1 car.


He might fared a little better than with Tyrrell though both were winning cars in 1982 IIRC.

#7 ghinzani

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:55

He might fared a little better than with Tyrrell though both were winning cars in 1982 IIRC.



DD's Williams was much less of a number 2 car and arguably more of a GP winner than Brians in my opinion.

#8 D-Type

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 21:08

I wish people wouldn't use initials indiscriminately - to find out what people are talking about I had to look up Derek Daly

#9 ghinzani

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:41

I wish people wouldn't use initials indiscriminately - to find out what people are talking about I had to look up Derek Daly


Did Derek mind?

#10 D-Type

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:43

Did Derek mind?

:p


#11 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:55

He might fared a little better than with Tyrrell though both were winning cars in 1982 IIRC.


The difference being the Williams took a world title along with it's one win in 82.
Henton in an FW08 up against Rosberg...? What an intriguing prospect!
I wonder why Sir Frank chose Daly over Henton? I know Derek was very highly rated prior to reaching F1 but he hadn't really made the expected big-impression once he stepped up to the top level (one of life's mysteries in itself).

Clearly Brian would have crawled over broken glass for that Williams drive. If only...

#12 plutoman

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:49

Just found a piece in Feb 1980. With neither Jones or Reutemann available, Henton again tested for Williams (this time in the FW07B at Silverstone.) Of course, at this moment in time Brian was unemployed and looking at Can Am and Aurora F1 options. He also tested for the works March F2 team at Vallelunga before the Toleman drive came up.

#13 Chris Bloom

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:20

DD's Williams was much less of a number 2 car and arguably more of a GP winner than Brians in my opinion.


I think Williams were a team revolving around Rosbergs car once Reutemann left. Daly never looked like he was going to do much in the second car. Jaques Laffites performances in the following two years I feel confirm my view. Not that this was a bad thing, a lot of the teams back then had a clear number 1 and number 2 driver.

#14 arttidesco

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 19:30

I thought Frank and Patrick were on record as not giving a stuff about who their drivers were so long as they were the fastest they could afford to secure the constructors championship ? Hence the Jones / Reuteman agro that was repeated with Mansell & Piquet not to mention letting Hill go because they had J Villeneuve who at the time was cheaper and at least as quick.