Ahead of action stations at Silverstone for the Monster Energy British Grand Prix, Team Suzuki Ecstar riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins enjoyed a different kind of motorsport experience: a tour of Williams Racing. One of the most decorated teams in the history of Formula 1, Williams Racing were founded by motorsport legend Sir Frank Williams in 1977 and have won nine constructors’ titles, seven drivers’ titles and 114 Grands Prix so far. All in all, a perfect taste of British heritage and speed ahead of Mir and Rins taking on Silverstone on two wheels, with the riders getting to see some of the most emblematic Williams cars before trying their hand at some sim racing too.
The tour started with a look at the FW43B, which is the 2021 Williams Racing car driven by George Russell and Nicholas Latifi. An overview of the aerodynamics concept, fuel, engine and rear impact structure gave Mir and Rins a deeper delve into what makes these machines tick (and stick), before it was next stop: Experience Centre.
There the riders got to know the FW40, raced in 2017 by Felipe Massa. They also got a closer look at the steering wheel and the incredible array of different functions and buttons drivers have at their disposal before a look through the different tyre compounds used throughout an F1 weekend – two things where a shared experience of speed diverges for MotoGP™ riders and F1 drivers.
Mir and Rins then headed for the museum to see a little more of Williams’ incredible history, back to the start in the 1970s and even the very first winner: the FW07, driven by Clay Regazzoni to the team’s first Grand Prix victory in 1979 at the one and only Silverstone Circuit. From there the focus turned back towards the engineering side with the FW14B, the car that Nigel Mansell drove to the World Championship crown in 1992. The car was a gamechanger with its active ride suspension, again making for an interesting contrast between two and four wheels.
Next up Mir and Rins were shown the FW16, the car driven by legendary three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna in 1994, before they then got to sit in the FW16B from the same season. The FW16B was driven by Damon Hill, who would go on to claim the crown with Williams in 1996.
After a trip to the Heritage Workshop to see how this incredible history is maintained and serviced, it was then time for Mir and Rins to get back to what they know best: racing. In the Williams E-Sports lounge, the two riders tried their hand at sim racing in an F1 car. Taking on Williams F1 Esport driver Alvaro Carreton and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s MotoGP™ eSport rider Cristian Montenegro, the virtual venue was – where else? – Silverstone. To round out the event they then put in a few laps on their GSX-RRs on the MotoGP™21 videogame to compare two and four wheels.
That's a wrap on an incredible experience for the reigning MotoGP™ team Champions. Make sure to tune in as Mir and Rins take on the behemoth that is Silverstone this weekend, with lights out for MotoGP™ set for 13:00 (GMT +1) on Sunday 29th August!