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F1: 5 Best Teams of all time

There's been over 100 F1 constructors over the decades, but which five are the most impressive?
There's been over 100 F1 constructors over the decades, but which five are the most impressive?
George Howson

How do you measure greatness in Formula 1 teams? Is it by measuring the numbers of championships they've won? Or their Grand Prix win count? Or the percentage of victories per race?

There's no definitive answer to this question, but there are some methods which are usually agreed upon. The total number of championships, both driver's and constructor's which a team has won over their history, will be used to determine their ranking.

While race wins, podiums, fastest laps and pole positions all matter, the one near-constant in F1 is that there's been two championships to play for. I say near-constant because the constructor's championship has only been a part of the sport since 1958.


#5 Mercedes

Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton have both won driver's titles while racing for Mercedes.
Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton have both won driver's titles while racing for Mercedes.

The fact that Mercedes are already on this list despite only having competed in 11 of the 69 F1 seasons, is remarkable. At the rate they're going, they could top this list by 2030, that's nothing short of incredible.

The Silver Arrows originally competed in Formula 1 between 1954 and 55, before the Le Mans disaster caused their untimely withdrawal from the sport. The Great Juan Manuel Fangio won his second and third the driver's championship with the German team, one of three drivers to have done so.

The others are, of course, Lewis Hamilton (4) and Nico Rosberg, that pairing also helping to win three constructor's titles too. Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton have continued this trend since Rosberg's retirement at the end of 2016, adding two more constructor's crowns.

They're also the only team to maintain their dominance after a large regulation change, becoming the fastest team in 2014, and keeping that form going after the large-scale changes for 2017.

In total, they have won seven driver's titles, and five constructor's, and that's discounting the two constructor's title that Mercedes would've won if the championship existed in 1954 and '55. If Merc wins the driver's championship in 2019, they'll equal Ferrari's record of six straight titles.

#4 Lotus

Jim Clark spent his entire F1 career driving for Lotus.
Jim Clark spent his entire F1 career driving for Lotus.

The only constructor that is on this list which isn't competing in the 2019 season is Team Lotus. Colin Chapman's outfit was the most experimental and innovative during its time in Formula 1, with breakthrough developments being manufactured throughout the '60s, 70's and '80s.

The downside to their success and speed, however, was the mortality rate. Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Ricardo Rodriguez and Ronnie Peterson all met their maker in a Lotus.

The success they achieved, though, is remarkable. Seven constructor's championships, and six driver's titles between 1963 and 1978, one for almost every year during that period.

Mercedes have more wins and podiums, but this is largely down to Formula 1 seasons being much longer these days than 40 years ago. Lotus have more championships overall than the Silver Arrows and had some of the greatest drivers ever sit in the cockpit of their cars.

In addition to the legends I mentioned before, Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna and others have also driven for Team Lotus.

Lotus won their last championships in 1978 and their final race in 1987 thanks to Senna before eventually financially collapsing at the end of the 1994 season, after over 3 decades in the pinnacle of motorsport. The Lotus name briefly returned to F1 in 2010 and would remain in different guises until being rebranded to the current Renault team for 2016.

#3 Williams

Jacques Villeneuve won Williams' final driver's title to date in 1997.
Jacques Villeneuve won Williams' final driver's title to date in 1997.

Williams now bring up the rear of the grid, but the team from Grove have one of the finest pedigrees in motorsport. Frank Williams' outfit entered Formula 1 in 1977 and took just four seasons to manufacture their first championship-winning car.

The 1980s and '90s were a time when Williams excelled, as, like Lotus, they produced innovative designs to exploit the regulations on budgets more associated with a team in the midfield.

Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve all won driver's titles with the British team in less than two decades. However, they've excelled as constructors more, winning 9 teams titles compared to 7 constructors crowns.

1997 would be the final year that Williams would win a championship of either kind, but would remain one of the fastest teams in the sport until the mid-2000s. It's largely come crashing down since then, though, as Williams have won just one Grand Prix since 2005, Pastor Maldonado's freak victory in Spain in 2012.

Despite a resurgence at the start of the new V6-turbo era, Claire Williams' team are now firmly rooted to the bottom of the F1 grid, and it's hard to see that changing anytime soon.

#2 McLaren

Alain Prost won three of his four driver's championships while driving for McLaren
Alain Prost won three of his four driver's championships while driving for McLaren

Williams had their glory days during the 1980s and '90s, and so did McLaren, the latter enjoying even more spoils during this period.

Bruce McLaren - himself a fine driver until his tragic passing - set the team up in 1966, not dissimilarly to how Jack Brabham created a team in his own name. McLaren are the team with the second-longest continuous run in Formula 1, and fittingly take up the second spot on this list.

They've won 20 championships altogether, 12 driver's titles and 8 constructor's crowns, and like Lotus, have had some of the greatest drivers ever steer their cars.

James Hunt, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton have all won at least one of their driver's titles for McLaren and many more greats have driven for them.

Like Williams, though, their glory days seem a long time ago now, not winning a constructor's championship since 1998, a driver's title since 2008, and a Grand Prix since 2012.

For a short while, McLaren topped the tables in most regards, but the next team took their place back at the summit in the 2000s.

#1 Ferrari

Michael Schumacher helped to win an incredible six constructor's championship with Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher helped to win an incredible six constructor's championship with Ferrari.

It shouldn't be a surprise that Ferrari top this list, as the Italian outfit is the only one that has competed in every Formula 1 season since its inception in 1950. It's said that Formula 1 can't exist without Ferrari and Ferrari can't exist without F1, and it's easy to see why, as the two are inseparably intertwined.

Enzo Ferrari established his racing team in 1929 and began producing their own racing cars in 1947. Scuderia Ferrari raced in F1 since the sport's outset, competing in all but 25 of the series' near-1000 Grands Prix.

The cars from Maranello have won 16 constructor's championships and 15 driver's crowns, more than both Williams and Lotus combined. 235 Grand Prix victories, 751 podiums, over 200 poles, nobody, not even McLaren, come close to Ferrari's tallies.

For every Italian - and most other racing drivers - the dream of driving for Ferrari is the ultimate goal in motorsport. It's somewhat unfair to single a driver out who has competed for Ferrari, but if you have to, one man stands out above the rest.

Michael Schumacher rewrote every F1 record in the book during his decade-long stay as in red, catapulting Ferrari back to the forefront of Formula 1.


Will Mercedes one day replace Ferrari as the best team in F1 history? Or will the Prancing Horse remain at the top of the pile for the foreseeable future?

F1 News, Calendar, Standings, Results, Predictions and more on Sportskeeda

Edited by Debjyoti Samanta

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