As many say, finding the podium on a regular basis eventually guarantees you a race win at some point in time. That ideology holds true in most of the cases, but the pinnacle of motorsport racing has seen otherwise.
There are teams that have been consistent for a good period of time and even managed to secure podiums on a regular basis. However, they could never go that extra mile and secure the top step on the podium. It is quite unfortunate for these teams as they have performed so well on numerous occasions but none of those valiant efforts was sufficient to claim a memorable Formula One race victory, and in this article, let us take a trip down the memory lane, and look closer at the five teams that secured the most podiums but failed to secure a race win.
#5 Force India – 6 podiums
The Force India team takes the fifth spot on the list with six podiums. The team was formed in 2007 and had a very rocky start to its career. Force India secured its first points on the board and first podium after going 29 races without a single point. Giancarlo Fisichella’s podium at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix recorded the team’s first podium finish. The Italian driver started the race on pole and crossed the chequered flag second, less than a second behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The team had to wait for another three years to secure a podium place. Third-place finishes at the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix and the 2015 Russian Grand Prix ensured Force India’s two other podiums.
The year 2016 was the most successful one for the team as it claimed two podiums in the same calendar year, one at the Monaco Grand Prix and the other at the Baku Street Circuit. Force Indian repeated the third-place finish at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Interestingly, all the podiums since 2014 were secured by Sergio Perez.
#4 Arrows – 8 podiums
Arrows Grand Prix International was a part of the Formula One for well over two decades from 1978 to 2002.
The British-based team secured a podium in their debut season at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix with Riccardo Patrese. Patrese captured three more podiums for the Arrows in the next three years, becoming the team’s most successful driver. The team secured a solitary second place at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix before Eddie Cheever got onto the podium twice in as many years beginning from 1988.
However, after the podium at 1989 United States Grand Prix, the team’s fortunes dwindled, and Arrows couldn’t secure a podium finish till 1997. Damon Hill’s brilliant second-place at the Hungaroring guaranteed the team its last podium finish.
Since then, the team has failed to secure any podium finishes until its exit from the sport in 2002.
#3 Sauber – 10 podiums
Like the Arrows, Sauber has a very long association with Formula One. The team made its F1 debut way back in 1993. Since then, the team participated in over 350 Grand Prix and managed to secure 10 podiums along the way.
Sauber’s first podium came at the 1995 Italian Grand Prix. With a Ford Cosworth engine, Frentzen captured a brilliant third-place finish, which was not only the team’s first podium but also the German’s first podium as well.
Since then, Sauber managed to secure one podium every year till the 1998 season. After a brief hiatus of two years, the Sauber team was back on the podium at the 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix after a stellar drive from Nick Heidfeld. Frentzen secured the team’s sixth podium two years later at the 2003 United States Grand Prix.
Sauber's best chance of securing a race win was during the 2012 Formula One season as the team managed to capture four podium finishes that year. Sergio Perez, with a Ferrari power unit, stormed to three podiums while Kobayashi took the third place at his home Grand Prix.
Since then, the team hasn’t had a chance to secure a podium finish. However, the arrival of Kimi Raikkonen in 2019 might just tip the odds in the team’s favour.
#2 Toyota – 13 podiums
Panasonic Toyota Racing team’s Formula One stint of seven years included thirteen podium finishes, but zero race wins.
After a difficult start to its Formula One stay, the team’s first podium came three years after its debut in 2005. The duo of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher secured five podiums amongst them, with the Italian claiming three amongst the five. Toyota failed to replicate the same form the next year for Schumacher could secure only one podium during the 2006 Formula One season.
Trulli’s third-place finish in France and Timo Glock’s second-place finish at the Hungaroring in 2008 brought Toyota back onto the podium before its final year in 2009.
Like 2005, 2009 was exceptionally good for the Japanese team for it managed to claim five podiums in that calendar year with Trulli and Glock. Interestingly, the Italian secured three of the five podiums yet again.
It is fair to say that the 2005 and the 2009 seasons were Toyota’s best chance to win a Formula One race during its seven-year stint in the sport.
#1 BAR – 15 podiums
With 15 podiums, BAR is the most successful team that failed to capture a single race win during its tenure in the sport of Formula One.
After a disastrous debut season in 1999, the team improved in the next six years, securing a slew of podium finishes. Britain’s Jenson Button is their most successful driver with 12 of the team’s 15 podiums.
BAR’s first two podiums came from the world champion Jacques Villeneuve in the year 2001. After that, the team failed to podium finish for the next three years until the 2004 Formula One season.
2004 season was a revolution for the team for it managed to secure 11 podiums in 18 races, allowing BAR to finish the constructors’ championship in the second place. This spectacular show was led by Button, who claimed 10 top-3 finishes, while his teammate Sato claimed the other.
The following year, which was their last year in F1, Jenson Button grabbed two more podiums at Germany and Belgium, which ensured that the team finished in a lowly sixth place in the constructors’ championship.