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Williams F1 Conference Center in Oxfordshire

Williams F1 Collection Rothman  photoSince its inception in 1978 the Williams F1 concern has built a global reputation as one of the frontrunners of competition engineering. With 113 Formula One Grand Prix race wins, including 297 podiums and 126 pole positions, Williams F1 is one of the most successful Formula One teams in the history of the sport. On average, Williams F1 builds seven chassis per year. Over a thirty year history, that's a lot of race cars, so, what happens to them? The Williams F1 Conference Centre is the headquarters of the Williams F1 operation in Oxfordshire, and more than an office or design complex, a meeting and business conference center, but at the heart of it the Williams F1 Car Museum. After running teams for others since the late 1960, Frank Williams teamed with Patrick Head to found Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1977 and fielded his first self-named car in 1978. Partnering with a succession of engine manufacturers, Honda, Renault and Cosworth, BMW and Toyota the Williams team has won 16 FIA Formula One World Championships, 9 of them for constructors and sevgen drivers titles, with Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill.

Williams Race Car Private Museum photoForty of the Williams Grand Prix cars are found within the Williams F1 Conference Centre at the AT&T Williams technology campus in Grove, Oxfordshire, where the company designs and manufactures its Formula One race cars. One of the largest private collections in the world, with a few exceptions (see Magny Cours, Donington Park and BMW World) the Williams F1 Collection houses most of the surviving Williams racing machines. The car collection at Williams is not generally open to the public except for one day per month, through a tour of the cars and technical facility is featured as an experience included with group and business events. The public days are generally one Friday most months and cost £60 per person.

Williams F1 Conference Center Race Car Hedge photoFor those who visit inside the sanctum, byond the curios racing car hedge sculture at the front door, the center’s Technology Room demonstrates the ever advancing technologies and the essential components which comprise a Formula One car, from aerodynamics and electronics to hydraulics and the composite materials which form the modern Formula One racing car. The Trophy Room displays an impressive array of prestige trophies, team memorabilia and an Formula One simulator. The trophy room is used as a setting for luncheon and dinner events. A range of bespoke activities are available at the Conference Centre for Corporate Hospitality and group tours of the private Williams F1 Grand Prix Collection. For individual visitors or tourist the opportunities are subject to timing a visit to the monthly open day. For rail and car enthusiasts the nearby Didcot Railway Center offers a steam train and race car experience (see Steam and Speed).

If you can muster together a group of 15 racing car fans, Race Day events are offered at the Williams F1 Conference Centre for businesses entertaining clients, families and friends. These events held on the days of F1 races around the world, are hosted by a member of AT&T Williams, offering personal insight into a race weekend, from the practice sessions through to qualifying and the race itself. The day includes a live up-link to the race circuit with a phone interview with a senior member of the AT&T Williams team. A tour of the Williams F1 Grand Prix Car Collection is and session in the simulator are included. The Race Day events cost from £105 to £175 per person. Contact the Williams F1 Centre for details. © Bargain Travel Europe

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