In an interview with the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Pat Symonds, current technical director of the Williams team, made a selection of the five cars that, in his opinion, were the most significant in the history of Formula 1. He explained that he chose the Lotus 49 of 1967, the Renault RS 01 of 1977, the Lotus 79 of 1978, the McLaren MP4 / 4 of 1988 and the Williams FW14B of 1992; by their concepts, which radically changed the course of the category.
Symonds, who began his career in Formula 1 in 1981, in the development area of the Toleman team, has been an engineer assigned to Ayton Senna and Michael Schumacher; and he has also worked in the technical department of Reynard, Benetton, Renault and Marussia; He felt the charm for the design, engineering, and construction of racing cars in 1967, at the age of fourteen, when he witnessed a Formula 2 race, in which Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, and Graham Hill participated. There he had the opportunity to observe a Ford GT40 and that same year he also had the pleasure of seeing a Lotus 49 since then everything in his life has been related to Formula 1.
The next one in chronological order is the Renault RS 01, the first car with a turbo engine in Formula 1. Although it was not a dominant car,
Symonds included it in its selection because of its daring concept and its historical value as the French bet, which included Michelin radial tires, showed that almost 40 years after that event, the turbo engine was the future of the category.
Integrated Design Of The Aerodynamics
Follow the Lotus 79, recognized for confirming the validity of the ground effect concept in racing. The importance of this creation of Colin Chapman lies in the fact of being copied by the rest of the teams, a situation that caused an escalation in the development of aerodynamics.
Of course, the McLaren MP4 / 4 Honda should be included in all the selections of the best Formula 1 cars, a car that reached the scandalous figure of 15 victories in 16 races. However, for Symonds, the vehicle itself was not innovative, but all its elements were always better than those of the competition. The integrated design of the aerodynamics with the engine was unsurpassed for rivals such as Ferrari, Williams, and Benetton.
Finally, Symonds referred to the Williams FW14B and did it extensively because by that time he was working as an engineer for the Benetton team, where he worked to make the B193 a worthy rival to the Grove car. Active suspension, ABS, traction control, automatic transmission, four-wheel steering and a system of aid to the pilot based on the transfer of information instantaneously were the tools of the Benetton, but even so, they could present more excellent resistance to what they had built in Williams.