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5 Best F1 cars of all time

Michael Schumacher drove some of the best Ferrari Formula 1 cars.
Michael Schumacher drove some of the best Ferrari Formula 1 cars.
George Howson
Modified 17 Apr 2019
Top 5 / Top 10

In the words of the great Murray Walker; "Formula 1 is about the best driver in the best car allied to the best team," so to say the sport is purely about the fastest pilot isn't the whole truth. The only true measure of a driver is his successes compared to that of his teammate, as that particular pair have the same machinery available to them. Drivers such as Lewis Hamilton are extremely talented, but would Hamilton have had as much success if he stayed at McLaren post-2012? Absolutely not. Mercedes have dominated the V6-turbo hybrid era so far, but they're far from the first constructor to produce an all-conquering racing car.

#5 Williams FW14 (1991-2)

The FW14B Powered Nigel Mansell to his only driver
The FW14B Powered Nigel Mansell to his only driver's championship in 1992.

The FW14 was Williams' challenger for the 1991 season and was Adrian Newey's first championship winning car. Nigel Mansell returned to Frank Williams' outfit after two years at Ferrari with the intent of winning his first driver's championship, but the car got off to a rocky start. This was the first Williams car to employ a semi-automatic gearbox (a technology that Ferrari pioneered two years earlier) and the new system contributed to six retirements between Mansell and Riccardo Patrese in their first eight starts. However, once the reliability was rectified, it was arguably the fastest car on the grid, with Patrese picking up the FW14's first win in Mexico. Mansell accumulated a further five victories, with his Italian teammate also earning another on the way to a runners-up spot in the constructor's championship for Williams.

For 1992, a B-spec car, the FW14B, was produced, and this was the year which saw Adrian Newey's design enter folklore. Active suspension had been worked on in Formula 1 since the late 1980's, but the FW14B was the first car to successfully use it, and to devastating effect. Mansell won eight of the opening ten rounds, as nobody could come close to the Williams' pace. Red 5 won his first driver's title in Hungary, with five rounds remaining.

In total, the FW14 won 17 Grands Prix and its two drivers stood on the podium a combined 37 times from just 32 races. Given the poor reliability records in F1 over twenty years ago, that makes this car's record all the more impressive.

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Published 17 Apr 2019, 21:08 IST
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