Flower power: Williams F1 go green

Story highlights

  • Williams the subject of a topiary display at the Chelsea Flower Show
  • "The Williams Story" features a life-size topiary Formula One car and pit crew
  • The display has been awarded the annual horticultural event's prestigious gold medal
  • Williams have thanked other F1 teams for their help following garage fire in Spain

The floral, serene surrounds of London's Chelsea Flower Show seem a million miles from the screeching, full-throttle action of Formula One.

But the two worlds have merged in a unique and award-winning way thanks to the Williams F1 team and a British tree nursery.

"The Williams Story" is a topiary display which depicts the history of the nine-time constructors' champions, from their origins in 1977 to Pastor Maldonado's historic victory at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month.

And, in keeping with the green shoots of recovery which were visible during Williams' first race win in eight years, the piece features a life-sized topiary Formula One car.

The eye-catching display, which also boasts a pit crew sculpted from living trees, has been handed a gold medal at the prestigious annual British horticultural event.

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"Winning the gold medal is a fantastic achievement," Williams founder and team principal Frank Williams said. "I saw it for the first time (this week) and was taken aback by its scale and attention to detail.

"The Chelsea Flower Show is a uniquely British occasion and to be successful at this illustrious event is a great honor. I hope the public enjoy the display as much as the judges."

The topiary took over three years to complete and was sculpted using a fast-growing plant native to south-west China.

The honor provides Williams with a timely boost ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, with the team looking to build on Maldonado's win -- the first by a Venezuelan in the history of the sport.

Williams' celebrations were cut short by a fire in the team garage, a blaze which left seven people in hospital.

The incident also resulted in Williams losing vital parts and equipment, but the team's chief operations engineer Mark Gillan moved to thank the other F1 manufacturers for the support they have shown.

"The team's preparations for Monaco have been somewhat hampered by last Sunday's garage fire," Gillan said on the official F1 website.

"But the impact of the fire has been mitigated by what can only be described as a Herculean effort by the factory and our suppliers to restock both the damaged equipment and car parts.

"We would also like to thank the generous offers of help from the other teams, highlighting once more the excellent sportsmanship that exists in Formula One and high levels of camaraderie throughout the pit lane."