Constructors that made it big in Formula 1 racing

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix. Picture credit: commons.wikimedia.org/ Morio

A few teams have tasted immense success in the Formula 1 World Championship, while some promising ones have faded away or been bought out.

Teams like Ferrari and Mercedes command cult following in the highly competitive world of racing.

DH lists a few of the top teams that have dominated F1:

Ferrari:
This Italian outfit, with 16 constructor titles, is the most successful in the history of the sport and the last crown was in 2008.

Ferrari won the constructor titles in 1961, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008.

Ferrari is arguably the most popular team in F1 and has a passionate tifosi (Ferrari fans).

Called the ‘Prancing Horse’ due to the Ferrari logo, the team first entered the Formula 1 World Championship in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix and continue to compete till date.

Drivers Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen have fetched Ferrari 15 drivers’ titles in the history of the sport. The maximum is five by German Schumacher.

The current drivers for the team are German Sebastian Vettel and Monegasque Charles Leclerc.

Williams:


Jacques Villeneuve driving a Williams car in 1996. Picture credit: commons.wikimedia.org/ Rick Dikeman

This British team was started by Frank Williams and Patrick Head in 1977 and their first race was in the Spanish GP that year.

The team has won nine constructor titles and they came in 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997.

Williams has shown some incredible performances in the past and had illustrious drivers in the team. Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jenson Button and Jacques Villeneuve have driven for the team. Barring Senna and Button, all others have won the drivers’ world championship with this team and they have a total of seven drivers’ championship crowns to their name.

Their last drivers’ title was in 1997 and won by Canadian Villeneuve.

The current team is a pale shadow of its past and the 2019 drivers are Pole Robert Kubica and Briton George Russell.

McLaren:


Ayrton Senna driving the McLaren in the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix. commons.wikimedia.org/ Iwao

New Zealander Bruce McLaren founded the team in 1963 but their first race in F1 was the 1966 Monaco GP.

The team has won eight constructors’ titles which came in 1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1998.

The team has had 12 world drivers’ titles, with the most famous being Senna and Prost. The other notable driver to turn out for McLaren is Niki Lauda. Their last drivers’ world title was won by Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

Among prominent team personnel is the legendary Ron Dennis, who was at the helm during the team’s most successful years in F1 racing.

Just like Williams, this British team has struggled to keep pace and has struggled in the last few years.

The current drivers for the team are Spaniard Carlos Sainz and Briton Lando Norris.

Lotus:


Emerson Fittipaldi driving a Lotus car. Picture credit: commons.wikimedia.org/ espinya

Founded in 1952 by the ingenious Colin Chapman, this British team was known for its innovation in motorsport and road cars.

For instance, the Lotus was the first team to develop and use a monocoque chassis.

The team’s first entry into F1 was the 1958 Monaco GP.

The team achieved seven constructors’ titles and in 1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1978.

The team has six drivers’ titles to its name and some of the prominent drivers in its ranks were Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Mansell, Senna, Piquet, Mika Hakkinen among others.

The team folded up after the 1994 Australian GP. In 2010, Air Asia owner Tony Fernandes brought the team back to F1 as Lotus Racing. After a legal battle, Fernandes had to let go of the Lotus name and his team was renamed Caterham F1.

In 2012, Lotus-Renault GP, created by Genii Capital and Group Lotus, entered the championship as Lotus F1.

Late in 2015, it was announced that the Renault Group had purchased the team and entered the championship as the Renault team. They continue to take part as Renault Sport F1 and the 2019 drivers are German Nico Hulkenberg and Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Mercedes:


Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes car. Picture credit: Mercedes AMG F1

The German team first raced in the 1954 French GP and continues to race today, albeit with a big break in between.

The team has won five constructors’ titles and in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. German Nico Rosberg won the 16 championship, while the remaining were clinched by Hamilton.

Fangio had won the drivers’ title in 54 and 55, but Mercedes-Benz withdrew from the championship following a disastrous accident in the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. The constructors’ championship was constituted only from the 1958 season.

Mercedes returned to F1 as a factory team in 2010 after its parent company, Daimler, bought a stake in the Brawn GP team, which had clinched the 2009 constructors’ and drivers’ titles in style. Brawn GP was renamed and entered as the Mercedes factory team.

The team has had a history of changing before entering F1 as Mercedes in 2010. Tyrrell Racing competed from 1970 to 1998. Tyrrell then became British American Racing in 1999. BAR struck a deal with Honda and the team eventually became Honda Racing F1 in 2006. Honda withdrew at the end of 2008 and became Brawn GP for the 2009 season.

Hamilton and Finn Valtteri Bottas drive for the team now.

Red Bull Racing:


Sebastian Vettel competing in a Red Bull car. Picture credit: Red Bull 

The idea of an energy drinks company starting an F1 team was scoffed at, but they proved their worth by clinching four constructors’ titles from 2010-13 through German driver Vettel.

Red Bull Racing also has a second team on the F1 grid viz. Toro Rosso, which is a stepping stone for drivers to enter the main team.

This team too has a long history. Stewart Grand Prix team debuted in 1997, but owner Jackie Stewart sold the team to Ford at the end of 1999.

Ford then renamed it as Jaguar Racing and raced for five seasons before selling the team to Red Bull.

Dutchman Max Verstappen and Frenchman Pierre Gasly drive for the team that is now knows as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

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Constructors that made it big in Formula 1 racing

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