The 1988 Williams season was Williams' 12th season as a constructor. That year, they made the switch to Judd engines.
Driver Nigel Mansell endured a dismal season, and only completed two races out of 14, both of which were second place finishes, whilst also missing two additional races with chickenpox.
His team-mate Riccardo Patrese finished eight races and was in the points more often, but Mansell's two podium finishes ensured that the latter beat him in the Championship with 12 points. Martin Brundle finished 7th in his one and only race of the season whilst deputizing for Mansell, whilst Jean-Louis Schlesser became known for an incident with Ayrton Senna which prevented McLaren from winning all 16 races in the 1998 season.
Williams had a bad start to the year, with both cars retiring.
Mansell was once again a victim of unreliable Judd engines, when his failed on lap 18 whilst he was in a good position. The same thing happened to Patrse on lap 27, he pulled off and parked alongside the barrier, right behind Mansell. For the third time in a row, both Williamses were out.
Mansell's suspension broke during the race and he was out, his sixth retirement in as many events. It was a miserable start to the season for the Englishman.
After 7 retirements in 7 races, Mansell broke his duck by finishing second on his home track at Silverstone, behind Ayrton Senna.
Nigel Mansell fell ill with chickenpox and was unable to race. Therefore, Martin Brundle deputized for him. In the race, Brundle finished outside of the points in seventh, whilst Patrese had to retire again with engine failure.
With Mansell still not well enough to race, Jean-Louis Schlesser was asked to drive the number five car. His one-off outing became notorious, none more so than to McLaren fraternity. The World Champion team had aimed for a perfect 16 wins out of 16 races, but Senna collided with Schlesser and they lost their first and only race.
Mansell returned after recovering from his illness, but spun out of the race whilst Patrese also retired from the race earlier.
This race saw Nigel Mansell's second podium of the year, and only his second race finish. This marked the only time this year that both Williams drivers were in the points.
Mansell was involved in a collision and this caused his 11th failure to finish in 13 races. On the other hand, Patrese managed a second consecutive points finish with sixth.
Patrese ended a horrendous season for the team by finishing in the points in the last three races. Mansell, for the second time in four races, spun off during the race.