For those new or newer to Formula 1, you may hear us banging on about the history of the sport. You’d be forgiven at looking at the current grid and thinking it has very little to do with the history of the sport or why, at this point, it really matters.
As bit of a silly exercise, I thought it may be fun to trace the current grid back to the history of F1. Part of the reason is to give you some insight to where the current teams on the grid come from and believe it or not, some of the same people still work at these teams despite the changes over time.
Mercedes- The team derives from the Tyrrell Racing Organization that won three titles and was the main launching pad for Sir Jackie Stewart. That’s right, Lewis Hamilton is driving in the team that Jackie Stewart once drove.
Ferrari- Ferrari have been there since the beginning. As the longest standing F1 team, their history and footprint on the sport is undeniable.
Red Bull Racing- Red Bull can trace their history back to Stewart Grand Prix team that was eventually bought by Jaguar Racing in late 1999. Red Bull acquired the team from Jaguar and Mark Webber came along with it.
McLaren- McLaren have been McLaren since entering F1 back in 1966. Formed by famous New Zealander Bruce McLaren, the team was eventually merged with Ron Dennis’s Project Four Formula Two team back in the early 1980’s.
Scuderia Toro Rosso- STR got their start by acquiring Minardi who had been racing in F1 since 1985. Minardi originally set up as a Formula Two constructor later moving into F1.
Williams- Williams was started back in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams after his former effort, Frank Williams Racing Cars, wasn’t as successful as he had liked. Frank had an early partner in Walter Wolf but soon let that partnership to create Williams Grand Prix Engineering.
Sauber- Peter sauber began in sports cars in the 1970’s and even had a young Mcihael Schumacher drive his C9 creation. Sauber was the official factory team with a strategic partnership with Mercedes and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sauber had planned on moving into F1 but Mercedes chose not to although they did fund the effort. Sauber entered F1 in 1993.
Renault Sport F1- Renault’s first involvement in F1 was back in 1977. By 1986, the company decided to exit F1 as a works team and simply supply engines. Eventually, Renault got back into F1 in 2002 by acquiring the Benetton Formula team. Benetton was formed through the acquisition of the Toleman team in 1985. Renault sold the team to Genii Capital after a race-fixing incident in 2008 but came back into the sport acquiring it from then owner, Lotus F1.
Haas F1- Haas F1 is in its third year as a new constructor using a Dallara chassis and Ferrari power unit.
Force India- Force India was created through the acquisition of Jordan Grand Prix. Jordan, owned by Eddie Jordan, was started back in 1991 and eventually sold to Midland F1 Racing who toiled away for two season and then sold to Spyker Cars. Spyker eventually sold to Force India’s Vijay Mallya.
History corrected, today’s grid would look something like this if the teams had never sold.
My how times have changed. Knowing these names, I would urge you to go back and look into the history of these historic teams in F1 and what technical innovations they brought tot eh sport as well as the drivers they employed.