‘Don’t worry about the T-Shirt Tim, it was the only one in the cupboard this morning! Go quicker than him and I’ll make some with your name on them!?’…
FW exhorting Tim Schenken to get more speed from his steed.
Frank Williams raced the De Tomaso 505 Ford in 1970, a car designed for him by Gianpaolo Dallara. But it was shitbox, nowhere near as fast as the second-hand Brabham BT26 Frank ran in 1969 for his great friend Piers Courage. He drove with skill and conviction, second place the seasons highpoint at Watkins Glen in the US GP.
The De Tomaso was slow, too heavy amongst other shortcomings from the start, Piers Courage died in it at Zandvoort. I’m not suggesting a component failure was the accident’s cause but perhaps trying too hard to compensate for its lack of pace was.
Brian Redman raced the car for FW at Clermont Ferrand and Hockenheim, Tim took over the drive at the Osterreichring, Monza, Mosport and Watkins Glen. He retired in every event except Mosport where he was not classified but qualified 17th, his best ‘result’.
Schenken made the most of the opportunity FW gave him, he was recruited by Ron Tauranac for 1971, Jack Brabham retired that winter, Tim was teamed with Graham Hill who drove the problematic BT34. Tim raced the year old but still very quick BT33, his best placings 6th and 3rd at the Nurburgring and Osterreichring respectively.
Bernie Ecclestone bought Brabham during 1972, Tim was uncertain about Bernard Charles ability to run the team and left for Surtees, he was later to rue ’twas not the best career decision i ever made’…