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For Sale: 1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

Submitted by on April 30, 2020

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

History and photos via Williams i’Anson.

This Williams FW19 was Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s primary car for the 1997 Formula 1 World Championship. In it, he won the San Marino Grand Prix and drove to second in the drivers’ championship, helping Williams secure the 1997 constructors’ championship. It’s up for sale at Williams i’Anson.

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

The FW19, Adrien Newey’s last design for Williams, had a tough act to follow. The FW18 had put in a dominant performance in 1996, with Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve winning 12 of the 16 races and claiming both the drivers’ and constructors’ title. 1997 was a tough season as well, with Michael Schumacher and Ferrari mounting a mighty challenge that concluded in a famous collision between Schumacher and Villeneuve in the season finale European Grand Prix.

The car was a success, with Villeneuve driving it to seven victories and claiming the drivers’ title. Heinz-Harald Frentzen replaced 1996 champion Damon Hill at Williams, claiming a race win on the way to second in the drivers’ title and helping Williams to the constructors’ championship.

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

This car, chassis FW19-05, was Frentzen’s ride for 14 of the season’s 16 races. It debuted in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. Villeneuve set pole position, but it was Frantzen standing atop the podium at the end of the race, giving the car a Formula 1 race victory on its debut.

Frentzen claimed pole position in the following race – the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. However, when rain began to fall before the start of the race both Williams drivers gambled on conditions improving and went out on a dry setup. Conditions remained tough, and Frentzen would eventually leave the race after hitting the barrier on lap 39.

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

The French Grand Prix was another good race for Frentzen and FW19-05, qualifying second and chasing Schumacher all the way to the end to finish second.

From there, the pair had a string of bad luck. Frentzen qualified second at Silverstone, but stalled on the grid, forcing a restart of the race in which he started at the back and only made it to Becketts’ on the first lap before he was collected by Jos Verstappen. In the German Grand Prix he and Eddie Irvine collided while navigating the first corner, leaving the race early once more.

The second half of the season was very strong for Frentzen and FW19-05. He finished third at Spa, Monza, the A1-Ring and the Nürburgring. At the Nürburgring, he was fighting for a promotion when he and his teammate shared a cheeky mid-corner kiss and he knocked his ignition switch off, settling back into third. In Japan, Frentzen and our car started from sixth and drove to second, which was enough to give Williams the constructors’ title one race ahead of schedule.

The 1997 season finale, the European Grand Prix at Jerez, was a dramatic one right from the start. Schumacher went into the race leading the drivers’ championship by a single point. In qualifying, Villeneuve, Schumacher and Frentzen all set an identical time of 1:21.072. As times were identical to the greatest degree of accuracy the Tag Heuer timing system was capable of, the drivers were qualified in the order they set that time, which meant Villeneuve out first, followed by Schumacher and Frentzen.

Schumacher got a better start in the race, and was able to sneak into the lead by turn one, with Frentzen also getting the jump on his teammate. A few laps into the race, Frentzen was ordered to let his teammate pass, which he did.

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

By lap 48 Schumacher was still in the lead, but Villeneuve was closing. During his passing move, Schumacher made an infamous decision and the pair collided. Schumacher ended up in the sand trap, with Villeneuve able to continue on. Despite being slowed by damage, Villeneuve would eventually claim third, which was enough to award him the title.

In a disciplinary hearing following the race, Schumacher was disqualified from the 1997 World Championship, which promoted Frentzen and FW19-05 to second in the drivers’ title.

Following the season, the car remained with Williams and was put on display at the entrance to the team museum. More recently, it was moved to the Williams Heritage workshops for a full restoration. Its Renault V10 motor has also been restored by Judd Engineering. When the car is sold, its restoration will be completed with new front and rear wings and final assembly.

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

The car’s new owner will also be invited into the Williams Heritage program, which provides the support of a fully managed worldwide service team, all operational equipment and access to Williams resources for the re-manufacture of original parts. Ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok is on-hand to provide driving tuition, and you even get access to Williams’ Formula 1 simulator.

For the full information on the car and all of its included benefits, head to the official Williams i’Anson website here.

History and photos via Williams i’Anson.

1997 Ex-Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams FW19

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