The long wait is over. Formula One racing’s bold new era of more dramatic and stimulating cars has finally become a reality with 2017 Fomula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Ten teams. Twenty Cars.Now is the time to get cracking for the F1 Fanatics to have a team-by-team run-through
Mercedes’ revival of their Formula One tradition through the creation of a works team for the 2010 championship was also the platform for a meteoric rise up the Grand Prix order. Already the team had generated huge excitement by securing the sensational return of Michael Schumacher, but headlines began to follow on track: three podiums came in their debut season, all via Nico Rosberg – who then claimed a breakthrough pole/victory double at China in 2012. The following season he would be paired with Lewis Hamilton, with the duo going on to stage some epic title battles as Mercedes swept all before them to become one of the most dominant forces of the modern F1 era.
Red Bull had already been a long-term sponsor in Formula One racing before formally entering as a works team following the acquisition of Jaguar in November 2004. The scale of success that followed over the next decade has been staggering. A first podium arrived in 2006 courtesy of David Coulthard, but it was in 2009 that the team really hit their stride, claiming six victories en route to second in the constructors’ standings. Over the next four seasons they were a tour de force, claiming consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ doubles between 2010 and 2013, with Sebastian Vettel emerging as the sport’s youngest quadruple champion.
For many, Ferrari and Formula One racing have become inseparable. The only team to have competed in every season in F1 history, the Prancing Horse has grown from the humble dream of founder Enzo Ferrari to become one of the most iconic and recognised brands in the world. Success came quickly through the likes of Alberto Ascari and John Surtees, and continued – in amongst leaner times – with Niki Lauda in the 1970s and then Michael Schumacher in the 2000s, when Ferrari claimed an unprecedented five consecutive championship doubles, securing their status as the most successful and decorated team in F1 history.
Having won races under former guise Jordan, the Silverstone-based team went through a decidedly fallow period – and several changes of ownership – before being bought by the charismatic Vijay Mallya in 2007. Rebranded Force India, the team steadily established themselves as a midfield force, and today are renowned for their ability to consistently punch above their weight.
Driven on by the brilliance and passion of Sir Frank Williams, Williams grew from humble beginnings to become a Formula One behemoth, unrivalled by all except Ferrari and McLaren in terms of enduring success. Over the past four decades the team has racked up Grand Prix wins and championship glory, and in the process nurtured some of the greatest talents in the sport, both in and out the cockpit.
Since entering the sport in 1966 under the guidance and restless endeavour of eponymous founder Bruce, McLaren’s success has been nothing short of breathtaking. Five glittering decades have yielded countless victories, pole positions and podiums, not to mention eight constructors’ championships. What’s more, some of the sport’s greatest drivers made their names with the team, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
Formed from the ashes of the plucky Minardi team, Toro Rosso were established in 2006 as a squad in which young drivers from Red Bull’s prodigious talent pool could cut their teeth in Grand Prix racing. Sebastian Vettel gave validity to the team’s approach almost immediately, delivering a fairy-tale win, before going on to enjoy world championship success with parent team Red Bull Racing. Today the ethos of nurturing talent still holds true, though the Italian squad are no longer simply a ‘B team’ but a constructor in their own right.
HAAS F1 TEAM
The brand-new Haas team made their highly impressive debut in the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, and in the process became the first all-American-led F1 team in three decades. Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, they are based in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina facility as his championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Stewart-Haas Racing. The team also have a UK base in Marussia’s former factory in Banbury. Power for the team’s cars comes from Ferrari, with whom Haas have a multi-year technical agreement. This also sees the Scuderia provide them with transmission and various other parts, as well as support. Team principal is former Red Bull and Jaguar F1 technical chief Guenther Steiner, ex-Marussia members Dave O’Neill and Rob Taylor are team manager and chief designer respectively, while chief aerodynamicist is former Ferrari man Ben Agathangelou.
The 2016 season saw Renault return as an F1 works entry following their takeover of the Lotus team – the Enstone-based squad which the French automaker previously ran from 2002 to 2011. It wasn’t just the team name that changed: Mercedes engines inevitably made way for Renault’s eponymous power unit, as the new management embarked on a long-term restructuring programme aimed at returning the famous marque to race-winning glory.
Having enjoyed considerable success in world sportscars, where he helped nurture the emerging talents of future F1 stars Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Peter Sauber guided his eponymous squad into F1 racing in 1993. The Swiss team has since established itself as a mainstay of the F1 grid, becoming race winners under BMW’s brief ownership, and developing a well-earned reputation not only for producing competitive cars, but also for developing young drivers.