top 10: f1 cars of all time
mclaren, williams, ferrari and others have all developed masterpieces in their time, but which cars make the top 10 list?
A regular source of debate is how influential the ability of a car is when compared to the ability of the driver. Whilst many will speculate over how important it is, there's no doubt that the car does have a significant say on the best place you can finish. When you put a dominant car with a dominant driver, the results can be extraordinary. Here are 10 of the best.
10) Rb9 - red bull (2013)
Red Bull won 4 Constructors Championships in a row between 2010 and 2013 as the Austrian team went through a period of dominance. You could very easily give this place to the RB7 that gave them 650 points in 2011, but instead, I've chosen the RB9 from 2013. The RB9 (and more specifically, Vettel) won 68% of the races it entered, including the last 9 in succession.
Major changes to F1 meant that this was the last of the Red Bull cars that crushed the rest of the grid, but a 236 point gap between them and second-placed Mercedes meant that they won their 4th title in style.
9) 250f - maserati (1954-60)
The Maserati 250F may not be the most dominant car on this list, but its longevity is seriously impressive. Debuted in 1954, it won its first two races that it entered with Fangio behind the wheel. Fangio would leave the team for Mercedes, but further wins would follow as Stirling Moss won both the Monaco Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix in 1956.
Fangio would return to drive the 250F in 1957 as he secured six podiums out of 7 races to win the world championship. As a team, Maserati retired from F1 after this season but the car was still used by private entries until 1960. In all, the car achieved 8 wins and 26 podiums.
8) mp4/2 - mclaren (1984-86)
I don't think you can argue with the McLaren MP4/2's record. 3 seasons, 3 drivers championships, 2 constructors championships. Driven by Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and later Keke Rosberg, McLaren were able to rekindle the success they had in the early to mid-70s with a tremendous car.
The McLaren's success was not only in its pace but also its superior reliability. Perhaps best described by Clive James: "Anything as fast as the McLarens fell apart, anything as reliable finished later". The car ended up winning 22 races from 48 and crowned two champions in Lauda and Prost.
7) f2002 - ferrari (2002-03)
I feel bad for putting such a wonderful car so far down the list, but that really is a testament to how many brilliant cars there have been. The F2002 crushed the 2002 season and won every race it entered apart from Monaco. The team of Schumacher and Barichello picked up 9 one-two finishes.
The car was so good that it remained competitive at the beginning of the 2003 season and took Schumacher to a win at the 2003 San Marino Grand Prix. One of the best Ferraris of all time.
6) 500 - ferrari (1952-53)
In 1952, the FIA announced that all Grand Prix races contributing to the world title would be run to F2 specification, so technically speaking, the Ferrari 500 was an F2 car rather than an F1 car but we're going to count it.
The car very nearly went two whole seasons without losing a race. Coming into the Italian Grand Prix of 1954, the car had won 14 out of 14 races before Fangio returned to the sport and broke the streak. It was an incredible run that allowed Ascari to win two drivers championships and win 9 races in a row between the two seasons.
5) fw14 - williams (1991-92)
Williams has created some wonderful cars in their time, the FW11 and FW18 to name a couple. The FW14 is another on that illustrious list. Debuted in 1991, the car actually got off to a shaky start will both Mansell and Patrese retiring three times in the opening four races, the team would turn it around though and finish the season 2nd in the standings.
Whilst 2nd was impressive in 91', first was inevitable in 92' with the updated FW14B. Mansell had the title wrapped up by August and the team finished with 164 points. No one else got to three figures.
4) Ferrari f2004 (2004-05)
How do you follow up a car as successful as the F2002? Pretty simple really, the F2004. Excluding a retirement at Monaco, Schumacher was able to win 12 of the first 13 races of the season. Barrichello supported him in the best way possible, he only achieved 2 wins in the year, but got 14 podiums.
The F2004's legacy in the sport continues to live on as it still holds numerous records at current circuits. Albert Park, Hungaroring and Monza are just a few of the circuits where the car still holds the fastest lap.
3) w07 hybrid - mercedes (2016)
In 2014 and 2015, Mercedes won the constructors' title with a huge amount of ease as they surpassed the 700-point mark in both years (701 and 703 respectively). Then just as it seemed as if the team couldn't be more dominant, the W07 comes along and obtains 765 points.
The Brackley based team won 19 of the 21 races on offer and in all likelihood, they would have completed a clean sweep without retirements. Unbelievably, its results in qualifying are even better than that as they claimed pole for every single race with the exception of Monaco.
2) lotus 72 (1970-76)
Remember the longevity of the Maserati? This is longevity on steroids. The Lotus 72 goes down as not only one of the most famous cars of all time, but also one of the most successful. Jochen Rindt was the first notable to race in the car and claimed four successive victories before he was tragically killed. Yet, the points he obtained were still enough to be posthumously awarded the championship.
Fittipaldi was the other world championship winning beneficiary of the car, but Lotus also won the constructors' titles in 1970, 1972 and 1973. An overall record of 20 wins and 39 podiums speaks volumes for a car that so many loved.
1) mp4/4 - mclaren (1988)
Beautiful livery? Check. Two all-time greats to drive it? Check. Superior performance? Check. The MP4/4 was nothing short of immense as it crushed the 1988 season winning 15 of 16 races and taking 15 of 16 pole positions. Having the duo of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost must have helped somewhat, but the car was equally as impressive.
199 constructors points don't seem like a huge amount compared to today's numbers, but when you consider points scoring was radically different back then, 199 is a huge amount.