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Formula 1: 5 teams with the most front-row lockouts

ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

#T3 Williams: 62 Formula 1 front-row lockouts

The Williams cars used to win Formula 1 races irrespective of who drove them.
The Williams cars used to win Formula 1 races irrespective of who drove them.

Williams, essentially a backmarker in the Formula 1 circuit these days, has as many as 62 front-row lockouts.

Founded by Sir Frank Williams, Williams, along with McLaren, were the most dominant Formula 1 teams from the early 1980s to the late 1990s.

The pedigree of Williams was such that one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time, Ayrton Senna, reportedly offered to drive for the team for free.

Williams were a Formula 1 team run by Sir Frank Williams, who was not only passionate about cars but was also a shrewd businessman. He was able to put together some great partnerships, first with Honda for their world-class engines and then with Renault in the early 90s.

These partnerships helped him build the cars that were some of the best in the field. They were so good that, more often than not, the driver was taken out of the equation.

In 1992, Nigel Mansell won the Formula 1 title for Williams; in 1993 it was Alain Prost; Damon Hill did so in 1996, while Jacques Villeneuve won the title in 1997. The car used to be so good that four different drivers won the Formula 1 title in five years during the early to mid-90s.

Williams won nine Formula 1 titles from 1980 to 1997. However, with a lack of sponsorship and consistent decline suffered due to a lack of results, the team is now a shadow of its illustrious former self.


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#2 Ferrari: 65

Ferrari dominated the Formula 1 scene from 1999 to 2004, winning six consecutive titles.
Ferrari dominated the Formula 1 scene from 1999 to 2004, winning six consecutive titles.

Perhaps less surprisingly, Ferrari have the second-most front-row lockouts (65) in Formula 1 history.

The Italian constructor has a rich history in Formula 1. While it has enjoyed multiple successful stints, they have endured a few barren runs as well.

For instance, Ferrari did not win a title from 1983 to 1999 and haven't won one since 2008. They might be one of the most successful teams in Formula 1, but they haven't always been the most consistent.

Ferrari enjoyed some of its greatest runs when they had legendary drivers like Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher behind their wheels. In one of the most dominant runs by a constructor in Formula 1 history, Ferrari racked up six consecutive titles from 1999 to 2004.

It was during this run that that Formula 1 became synonymous with the Italian team around the world.

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With young sensations Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr., the team will look to return to those glory days that have eluded them for more than a decade now.


#1 Mercedes: 76

Mercedes have the most front-row lockouts in Formula 1 history.
Mercedes have the most front-row lockouts in Formula 1 history.

Mercedes have the most front-row lockouts (76) by any constructor in Formula 1 history.

What makes this number even more impressive is the fact that Mercedes have been a part of the Formula 1 scene for less than two decades. They first competed from 1954-55 and then returned to the sport only in 2010.

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Ferrari have been a part of the Formula 1 scene for 70 years. But it would not be too far-fetched to call Mercedes the most dominant team in the history of the sport. No team has achieved their level of success and dominated for as long as Mercedes have.

Ferrari enjoyed a golden run from 2000-2004, but were unable to sustain it. Williams were the best constructor from the early 1980s to the late 1990s, but didn't beyond that period. Unsurprisingly, neither of the two teams have as many front-row lockouts as Mercedes have.

Mercedes' dominance of the Formula 1 circuit started in 2014, and it has continued unabated since. They are the favourites to dominate this season too.

There have been changes in regulations; new tyres have been introduced; aerodynamic changes have been made to the cars, but nothing has stopped the Mercedes juggernaut.

Credit should go to Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton, Niki Lauda and many others who made this possible, and have been responsible for such sustained dominance by Mercedes. Founding members Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher deserve their share of credit too, as they helped shape the DNA of the team.

A new set of regulations will come into force from the 2022 Formula 1 season. Whether that would put an end to Mercedes' Formula 1 domination remains to be seen, though.

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Published 16 Feb 2021, 22:55 IST
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