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F1’s most dominant automobiles ever from Crimson Bull RB19 to McLaren MP4/4 and extra

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Crimson Bull has produced one of the vital dominant seasons in Components 1 historical past, with Max Verstappen having cruised in the direction of a 3rd drivers’ world championship in 2023.

He and team-mate Sergio Perez have a mixed 20 victories this 12 months with the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, received by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, the one time Crimson Bull has not stood on the highest step on the time of writing. 

Crimson Bull’s race tempo has been so superior of its rivals that it does probably not matter the place they begin a grand prix. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, the workforce scored a 1-2 regardless of Verstappen, who got here second, beginning the race in fifteenth. 

However the RB19 shouldn’t be the one legendary machine in F1 historical past. Dominant automobiles have come earlier than it and little doubt, extra will come. So how does the 2023 Crimson Bull examine to others in years passed by?

There are many metrics that can be utilized to check, however F1 has modified all through the years. Judging dominance by wins in a season would place a bias in the direction of the trendy years with the F1 calendar now greater, additionally which means it’s unfair to find out by factors in a marketing campaign.

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So, these are the ten most dominant automobiles in response to win share in a world championship season.

It does nonetheless imply that there are some notable exclusions. The revolutionary Williams machines of the Nineties miss out, as does the 1963 Lotus that delivered Jim Clark his maiden championship after Colin Chapman constructed F1’s first absolutely burdened monocoque chassis. 

*Signifies season remains to be ongoing

1. Crimson Bull RB19*

Photograph by: Crimson Bull Content material Pool

Race winner Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing

12 months: 2023
Wins: 20 of 21 (one race nonetheless to go)
Win share: 95%
Pole positions: 13 of 21 (one race nonetheless to go)
Podiums: 29 of 42 (two podium spots left obtainable)
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 16 of twenty-two

Lewis Hamilton stated the RB19 is the quickest F1 automobile he’s ever seen, which isn’t fairly proper given the rule modifications for the reason that lap record-breaking Mercedes W11, nevertheless it has positively been the pacesetter of the brand new ground-effect period.

PLUS: How Mercedes created F1’s fastest car

It was fairly clear from pre-season testing that Crimson Bull was the favorite for 2023. Verstappen stated the RB19 had improved ‘in all places’ from its predecessor, which is kind of exceptional contemplating how profitable the RB18 was with Crimson Bull successful 17 of the 22 grands prix in 2022. The speak early in 2023 was how might the workforce enhance upon that, and a method was to win each race.

Because the weekends glided by, the chatter of that grew louder. Crimson Bull received the opening 14 grands prix, together with 10 in a row for Verstappen, each of which set new data for many consecutive race victories.

However, the speak ended on the fifteenth spherical in Singapore. All through the weekend Crimson Bull’s low trip top struggled with the monitor’s bumpy nature, and it led to each drivers off the rostrum as Verstappen completed fifth with Perez crossing the road in eighth.

The workforce was again to successful methods quickly after as Verstappen received the following six rounds, which included sealing the drivers’ championship with six grands prix left. He did it after coming second within the Qatar GP dash race, which is the one dash race of 2023 that Crimson Bull didn’t win as McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took the chequered flag that day.

The RB19 received the opposite 5 dash races, with Verstappen successful 4 of these. By clinching the championship with six grands prix left, Verstappen matched Michael Schumacher’s all-time report of sealing the title with probably the most rounds to spare, additional demonstrating the RB19’s dominance.

2. McLaren MP4/4

Alain Prost, McLaren MP4/4

Photograph by: Sutton Pictures

Alain Prost, McLaren MP4/4

12 months: 1988
Wins: 15 of 16
Win share: 94%
Pole positions: 15 of 16
Podiums: 25 of 32
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 11 of 16

The RB19 shouldn’t be the one automobile to have received all however one race in an F1 season, however a bigger win depend provides Crimson Bull the upper share. Nonetheless, it doesn’t low cost the sheer superiority of the legendary MP4/4.

Extra: McLaren’s 1988 MP4/4 voted fans’ favourite Formula 1 car

It’s arguably probably the most well-known F1 automobile ever with its iconic red-and-white livery. After ending second within the 1987 championship, and being comfortably overwhelmed by Williams, McLaren knew main modifications had been wanted for the next 12 months.

The primary change got here within the type of a star signing. A comparatively younger Ayrton Senna joined to type an all-star, however heated, partnership with then double world champion Alain Prost. However, all prime drivers nonetheless want the equipment and McLaren dealt Williams a serious blow by prizing engine producer Honda away from them. 

It gave McLaren the instruments it wanted to launch an assault on the championship. McLaren did simply that, after which some, by successful the primary 11 grands prix. Its dominance was significantly noticeable over one lap with Imola evident of that, as Senna and Prost each had qualifying occasions within the 1m27s whereas no different automobile might go sub-1m30s. However the Honda additionally gave nice effectivity in a fuel-limited period.

McLaren’s solely defeat got here on the Italian GP, the place Prost suffered an engine drawback early and Senna retired from the lead with two laps to go when he clashed with Jean-Louis Schlesser at Rettifilo because the McLaren tried to lap the Williams.

McLaren dusted off the mishap to win the ultimate 4 races, whereas Senna turned F1 world champion for the primary time. The MP4/4 was untouchable that season and stays one of the vital famend racing automobiles in historical past. 

PLUS: Senna’s greatest races

3. Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid

12 months: 2016
Wins: 19 of 21
Win share: 90%
Pole positions: 20 of 21
Podiums: 33 of 42
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 17 of 21

Similar to Senna and Prost, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had been a team-mate partnership that blew over at occasions. Hamilton beat Rosberg within the three seasons prior, however 2016 is their most well-known season collectively.

Mercedes was once more the pre-season favorite, with the Silver Arrows simply making “mini revolutions” on its previous two title-winning machines in response to technical chief Paddy Lowe.

The workforce began sturdy, with Rosberg successful the opening 4 races, till his collision with Hamilton on the Spanish GP precipitated a double retirement. It sparked fury throughout the workforce, whereas it proved extra pricey for Hamilton, who trailed Rosberg by 43 factors after 5 rounds.  

Hamilton received six of the following seven races – Rosberg received the opposite – to take the championship lead going into the summer time break. Rosberg responded sturdy by successful the three grands prix upon return earlier than Mercedes misplaced for a second time in Malaysia.

The 2016 Malaysian GP was received by Daniel Ricciardo after Hamilton’s engine failed whereas main, and Rosberg got here third having to ship a restoration drive from final after spinning on lap one. That was to be the W07’s ultimate defeat of the season, with Rosberg successful at Suzuka earlier than Hamilton received the ultimate 4 races.

Nonetheless, that was not sufficient for the Briton as a result of Rosberg got here second in every of these final races to clinch the championship.

4. Ferrari F2002

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2002

Photograph by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2002

12 months: 2002
Wins: 14 of 17 (14 from 15 begins for automobile)
Win share: 88% (93%)
Pole positions: 8 of 17
Podiums: 25 of 30/34
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 13 of 17

Whereas Verstappen has arguably had F1’s most dominant season ever in 2023, Schumacher’s 2002 season runs him fairly shut. In contrast to Verstappen, Schumacher stood on the rostrum in each race that 12 months.

He did most of that within the F2002, which changed the F2001 after the primary two rounds of the season. The F2002 was lots completely different to its predecessor. Ferrari applied a brand new gearbox system that diminished weight by as much as 15%. Its lightness, which gave it a decrease centre of gravity, proved to be one among its strengths, although Ferrari was matched within the energy stakes by Williams-BMW.

Whereas the British outfit typically pipped Ferrari to pole with its Michelin tyres, the entire bundle was inferior to the Bridgestone-shod F2002.

Ferrari received 5 of the opening six races, earlier than successful every of the final 10 and the one race the F2002 did not win was the Monaco GP, because of one among David Coulthard’s most interesting drives for McLaren.

PLUS: David Coulthard’s greatest F1 drives

Schumacher cruised to a then record-equalling fifth drivers’ world title, clinching the crown in July, with Rubens Barrichello ending a snug second within the standings.

The F2002 was so good, the B model contested the primary 4 races of 2003, scoring a win, a pole and two different podiums, outcomes not included within the stats above.

Juan Manuel Fangio, Alfa Romeo 158

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Juan Manuel Fangio, Alfa Romeo 158

12 months: 1950
Wins: 6 of seven
Win share: 86%
Pole positions: 6 of seven
Podiums: 12 of 18/21

With a mighty line-up of Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio, Alfa Romeo was a minimize aside within the trendy world championship’s first season. An enormous cause behind that was the 158, which was first in-built 1938 however spectacular growth and 350bhp proved key for such longevity.

And, after all, again then competitors was minimal, with different constructors having a much smaller funds than Alfa Romeo. The event time and funds used to construct the 158 proved evident with Alfa Romeo successful each race it competed in. Not solely did it win all of them, however the 158 lapped each non-Alfa Romeo automobile in all however two grands prix.

Farina and Fangio battled intently for the championship crown, with the Italian driver taking it by three factors. The 1950 Indianapolis 500, which counted for factors however which Alfa Romeo didn’t contest, is what’s stopping the 158 from being primary on this record. 

The last word evolution of the ‘Alfetta’, the 159, continued to set the tempo early in 1951. It was ultimately overtaken by Ferrari’s 375, which dealt the manufacturing unit Alfa Romeo workforce its first defeat in 5 years on the British GP, however Fangio nonetheless pipped Alberto Ascari to the drivers’ crown.

Extra: F1’s first great racing machine

=6. Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W05

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W05

12 months: 2014
Wins: 16 of 19
Win share: 84%
Pole positions: 18 of 19
Podiums: 31 of 38
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 16 of 19

The W05 marked the daybreak of a brand new period for F1. Out went the V8s and in got here hybrids, which precipitated a brand new workforce to dominate as Mercedes ended Crimson Bull’s run of 4 consecutive championships.

Key behind its title cost was the W05’s PU106 powerplant. Mercedes break up the turbocharger association in what proved to be a fantastic feat of engineering. This meant the compressor was housed on one finish of the engine with the turbine on the different. Whereas it stored the cold and hot sides of the turbo away from one another, it additionally allowed the MGU-H to occupy the house between that and the engine’s V-shape. 

Mercedes left its rivals for mud because of this. The W05 received from pole in its first six grands prix, with a 1-2 in all however one. The primary of three defeats that 12 months – all to Daniel Ricciardo’s Crimson Bull – got here in Canada when Hamilton retired due to a brake drawback whereas Rosberg got here second after his MGU-Okay failed.

However the workforce bounced again with three straight wins, as Hamilton and Rosberg battled fiercely for the championship lead. Ricciardo then received back-to-back grands prix on both aspect of the summer time break, at Spa because of Hamilton-Rosberg contact, earlier than Mercedes was victorious in every of the ultimate seven races.

Hamilton turned simply the second driver after Fangio to win a championship for Mercedes, whereas in 2014 the Silver Arrows additionally claimed pole in all however one qualifying session. The W05 was a terrific piece of engineering, and a automobile that left rivals enjoying catch-up for the a number of years that adopted.

High 10: Mercedes GP cars

=6. Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06

Photograph by: Sutton Pictures

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06

12 months: 2015
Wins: 16 of 19
Win share: 84%
Pole positions: 18 of 19
Podiums: 32 of 38
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 15 of 19

As a result of 2014 was such a dominant 12 months for Mercedes, the W06 was an evolution of its predecessor, with Hamilton on the time saying “it’s tough to choose up any variations”.

And Mercedes was proper to not change a lot. The Silver Arrows claimed pole for the primary 12 races, happening to win 10 of these, as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel’s received the opposite two. The third and ultimate defeat of 2015 additionally got here by the hands of Vettel, in Singapore, earlier than Hamilton and Rosberg received three every to complete the season.

However the championship battle between the 2 was a lot much less in 2015. Hamilton sealed his third title in Austin with three rounds to spare and, by this level, the connection between the Mercedes drivers had turned bitter. 

Nonetheless, the W06 was an all-conquering machine, which on the time set many data: highest share of factors in a season (86%), highest share of podiums in a season (84%), most 1-2 finishes in a season (12), most front-row lockouts in a season (15) and most consecutive races with each automobiles on the rostrum (9). 

8. Ferrari F2004

Ferrari celebrate as Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, finishes in 2nd position and clinches his 7th Drivers World Championship

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Ferrari have a good time as Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, finishes in 2nd place and clinches his seventh Drivers World Championship

12 months: 2004
Wins: 15 of 18
Win share: 83%
Pole positions: 12 of 18
Podiums: 29 of 36
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 13 of 18

Schumacher set the then report for many factors in a season (148) within the F2004 for his seventh and ultimate championship in F1. The F2004 held sturdy similarities to the F2002 however with just a few variations because the rear wing was enlarged, the rear suspension was redesigned to cut back tyre put on and the exhaust turned smaller.

New rules for 2004 additionally meant the gearbox needed to be redesigned for higher resilience to final the entire race weekend, whereas digital driver aids like launch management had been banned.

And the F2004 was virtually as dominant because the F2002. Schumacher received 12 of the opening 13 races – he crashed within the different – whereas team-mate Barrichello stood on the rostrum in all however three of these. Ferrari additionally clinched the constructors’ championship after the thirteenth spherical earlier than successful three of the ultimate 5 races.

The F2004 was a minimize above and one more reason for its dominance was sturdy reliability, as Ferrari solely retired twice, each of which had been collisions. That automobile nonetheless holds the lap data for Monza and Shanghai, which exhibits that its legacy stays sturdy in the present day.

PLUS: The car so good it shocked Ferrari

9. Ferrari 500

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 500.

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 500.

12 months: 1952 & 1953
Wins: 13 of 16
Win share: 81%
Pole positions: 13 of 18
Podiums: 20 of 36

When Alfa Romeo withdrew from F1 for 1952, Ferrari was left as the one critical F1 contender. To spice up grids, the championship was switched to F2 rules, however Ferrari remained the workforce to beat with the two-litre 500.

In 1952 the five hundred received each championship race that it competed in however, just like the 158, the presence of the Indy 500 on the calendar means it misses out on the 100% season report.

Ferrari continued its dominance for 1953, when the five hundred received all however one of many races it contested. The successful streak got here to an finish within the 1953 finale at Monza, the place Fangio received for Maserati on a dramatic ultimate lap. As soon as once more, the automobile additionally didn’t compete at Indianapolis, which ran to completely different rules regardless of being a part of the championship.

Ascari claimed back-to-back drivers’ titles within the 500, whereas setting the report for many consecutive race victories (seven, or 9 when you exclude the Indy 500) till Vettel broke it in 2013.

PLUS: Ferrari’s first world championship winner

10. Crimson Bull RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, celebrates victory with donuts

Photograph by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB18, celebrates victory with donuts

12 months: 2022
Wins: 17 of twenty-two
Win share: 77%
Pole positions: 8 of twenty-two
Podiums: 28 of 44
Spherical clinched the constructors’ championship: 19 of twenty-two

It’s fairly astonishing what Crimson Bull achieved with the RB18, contemplating it began creating its 2022 automobile a lot later than everyone else. The season marked the start of the ground-effect period for F1 however as a result of Crimson Bull had been in a mega title battle with Mercedes in 2021, the workforce delayed beginning work on the RB18.

That was maybe noticeable within the early races as Ferrari was the workforce to beat. The Italian outfit began the season with a 1-2, whereas each Crimson Bull automobiles retired. Though Verstappen received the following race, extra reliability issues struck as he retired from the Australian GP.

It elevated his championship deficit to chief Charles Leclerc to 46 factors, with Ferrari properly out in entrance of the constructors’ standings, so Crimson Bull was largely enjoying catch up from the off-set. However, because the season went on, Crimson Bull introduced steady upgrades to a degree the place the RB18 turned dominant. 

Its most distinguished characteristic was the very aggressive sidepod, which proved essential for aerodynamic load. The sidepods helped to maneuver air circulation immediately onto the rear wheels, quite than suspension, which meant downforce was there instantly and persistently beneath braking. It was a design characteristic that many different groups then tried to adapt because the season glided by.

Come July, Crimson Bull had stormed forward of Ferrari following a run of six consecutive wins. The workforce received 10 of the ultimate 13 grands prix, which included a terrific drive from Verstappen at Spa, the place he received from 14th on the grid.

That dominant day proved different groups had a number of work to do to meet up with Crimson Bull, which sealed the constructors’ championship with three rounds to spare whereas setting many data within the course of.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photograph by: Erik Junius

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB18

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