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Williams to celebrate 600 Grand Prix starts at Silverstone 27 Jun 2013

The podium (L to R): Rene Arnoux (FRA) Renault, second; Clay Regazzoni (SUI) Williams, race winner; Jean-Pierre Jarier (FRA) Tyrrell, third. It was the first Grand Prix victory for the Williams team. British Grand Prix, Rd 9, Silverstone, England, 14 July 1979 Clay Regazzoni (Williams FW07) claimed the first Grand Prix victory for the Williams team. British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 14 July 1979 Patrick Head (GBR) (Left) and Frank Williams (GBR) at the launch of the Williams FW06 at their new Factory. Didcot, Oxfordshire, England, 1978. Jacques Villeneuve celebrates Williams' 100th Grand Prix win, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, 13 July 1997 Keke Rosberg (FIN) Williams Honda FW10 set a new qualifying speed record and took pole position. British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, 21 June 1985

Although though don’t actually reach 600 race starts until the next round in Germany, Williams have chosen their home race at Silverstone this weekend to celebrate the landmark achievement. The British Grand Prix circuit fittingly witnessed the team’s first ever win in 1979 and their 100th win in 1997.

Williams will mark their latest milestone by displaying the number 600 on the sidepods of both their FW35 cars. The livery will also be emblazoned with the names of all 691 Williams employees who work across all divisions of the Williams Group, as a tribute to their continued hard work and dedication.

“For an independent team like Williams to reach 600 races at the pinnacle of motorsport is a remarkable achievement,” said founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams. “Seventy-eight teams have come and gone or changed ownership since our foundation and our longevity is a testament to the thousands of people who have sacrificed so much to keep us here. It seems only right to mark this milestone at the home of British motorsport alongside our loyal British fans.”

Founded in 1977 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head, Williams have secured 297 podiums, 114 race wins and 16 world championship titles over the past 36 years. Nine of those titles have been won in the constructors’ championship, with the remaining seven being drivers’ championships won with Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.

The Williams Group has also grown into a significant international business since its inception and its achievements have earned Frank Williams a knighthood in the 1999 New Year’s Honours List to augment France’s highest decoration, the legion d’Honneur.

“Williams has never been an organisation to dwell on what has gone before, but this weekend we will be rightly celebrating our heritage and reflecting on some of our defining moments over the past 36 years,” added Claire Williams, deputy team principal and commercial director. “This is also an opportunity for us to take stock and look ahead to the future, making sure that we have the necessary pieces in place to make our next 600 races just as memorable.”

Williams will be hoping to add to the celebrations this weekend by scoring their first points of the season. A tough 2013 to date has brought best results of 11th places for Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado in Malaysia and Bahrain respectively.

For a pictorial look at some of the highlights of Williams’ 600-race history, check out our special gallery.

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