Ranking Red Bull Among Formula 1's Greatest Constructors of All-Time

Fraser MasefieldContributor INovember 5, 2013

Ranking Red Bull Among Formula 1's Greatest Constructors of All-Time

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    I still wish I could have driven one of those...
    I still wish I could have driven one of those...Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Victory for Sebastian Vettel in India also sealed a fourth successive constructors’ title for a team that is now entering the ranks of the greatest constructors in the sport’s history.

    It has been a quite astonishing rise to the top after the energy drinks company bought the ailing Jaguar Racing team from Ford back in 2004.

    Thanks to a comprehensive company re-structuring and the genius of designer Adrian Newey, they now have four constructors’ titles to their name. But where does the team rank amongst the great names of the sport?

    Taking into consideration the number of titles won, the great names to have driven the cars and the historical prestige associated to the name, here are Bleacher Report’s top 10 constructors of all time.

Honourable Mentions:

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    Vanwall – The first team to win the constructors’ title in 1958 and a British one at that. Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks scored six wins between them, but Mike Hawthorn still won the drivers’ title with Ferrari.

    BRM – The second British marque to capture the constructors’ title and made famous by Graham Hill.

    Maserati – Provided a world title winning car for Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957 and netted nine grand prix victories before leaving the sport as a manufacturer in the late 1950s.

    Tyrrell – The manufacturer made famous by ‘Flying Scot’ Jackie Stewart took the drivers’ and constructors’ double in 1971 and provided Stewart with another title-winning machine in 1973. A team blessed with star drivers such as Didier Pironi, Jody Scheckter, Francois Cevert, Ronnie Peterson, Stefan Bellof and Jean Alesi.

    Benetton – A garish colour scheme made the team a schoolboy favourite in the late 1980s, but it was when Michael Schumacher signed as a driver that things really took off. A drivers’ title in 1994 preceded a drivers’ and constructors’ double the following year.

    Brawn GP – One season, eight victories and a drivers’ and constructors’ double. There’s little else a team can do.

10. Alfa Romeo

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    Although the constructors’ championship only started in 1958, Alfa Romeo will go down in F1 history as the car that Giuseppe Farina piloted to the inaugural drivers’ title in 1950.

    A year later, it was the turn of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio to take the first of his five world drivers’ titles, and he also achieved the feat behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo.

    Alas, the success story would not continue as the state-owned company decided to withdraw from the sport after a refusal of the Italian government to fund the expensive design of a new car to challenge former employees Ferrari.

    History and tradition: 3 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 0
    Star drivers: Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss

9. Cooper

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    Up until the 1959 season, every driver worth their salt dreamed of being in an Italian car, be it an Alfa Romeo, Maserati or Ferrari.

    All that began to change when the British Cooper Car Company dared challenge the status quo with their rear-engined revolutions. Stirling Moss set the ball rolling by winning the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix, and when Maurice Trintignant won next time out in Monaco, the world began to take notice.

    The next year, Aussie great Jack Brabham won the first of his three world titles in a rear-engined Cooper, and he repeated the feat in 1960.

    Since then, every world champion has been sitting in front of his engine.

    History and tradition: 3 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 2
    Star drivers: Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, John Surtees, Jochen Rindt.

8. Red Bull Racing

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    Many of the sport’s traditionalist fans resent Red Bull’s meteoric rise to the pinnacle of the sport.

    It’s all down to Adrian Newey and naming a team after an energy drink are just two of the criticisms labelled against the most successful team of the present.

    But the simple fact of the matter is that in just six seasons after taking over the disastrous Jaguar Racing outfit, Red Bull has won four consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ titles, and it’s not by fluke.

    Yes, the team has a considerable money pot at its disposal courtesy of Dietrich Mateschitz’s energy drinks company and the best car designer and arguably the best driver, but the stats speak for themselves.

    And what’s really wrong with Red Bull’s garish colours and Vettel’s exuberant celebrations? The kids these days seem to love it.

    History and tradition: 2 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 4
    Star drivers: David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel.

7. Mercedes

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    As with Alfa Romeo, Mercedes entered the F1 world championship before the constructors’ championship began and also provided Juan Manuel Fangio with his second and third drivers’ titles.

    The team and Fangio utterly dominated in 1954, taking six victories and five pole positions. Four further wins followed in 1955 as Fangio romped to another title with a young Stirling Moss as his teammate.

    Who knows what further success Mercedes may have gone on to achieve had it not decided to withdraw from all forms of motorsport, following Pierre Levegh’s horrific crash at Le Mans that killed him and over 80 spectators.

    Mercedes returned to the sport 55 years later, and after three indifferent seasons with the returning Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have once again propelled the Silver Arrows to the top step of the F1 podium.

    History and tradition: 3 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 0
    Star drivers: Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton.

6. Renault

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    If Mercedes epitomised all things German, then Renault did exactly the same for France.

    Renault entered F1 in 1977 with countryman Jean-Pierre Jabouille behind the wheel, and he was soon joined by Rene Arnoux to form an effective partnership.

    But it was the signing of Alain Prost in 1981 that put Renault firmly on the F1 map, the professor winning nine times in his three years at the team as Renault finished third twice and second once in the constructors’ standings.

    Financial problems led to Renault leaving the sport as a team at the end of the 1985 season, but the engine manufacturer continued to achieve considerable success as a title-winning engine manufacturer before returning as a team in its own right in 2000.

    Five years later, and Renault were champions thanks to the considerable talent of one Fernando Alonso, and they repeated the feat a year later.


    History and tradition: 3 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 2
    Star drivers: Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Rene Arnoux, Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso

5. Brabham

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    Having won back-to-back world titles in his rear-engined Cooper, Jack Brabham decided to go it on his own in setting up his own team after the competition had caught up.

    After securing four podiums in his first three seasons, Brabham dominated the competition in 1966, winning four races on the bounce en route to becoming the first and only man to win the world title in a team bearing his own name.

    Denny Hulme would pip Brabham to the title a year later, but the success story did not end there. Nelson Piquet won two of his three world titles in 1981 and 1983 driving for the Brabham team.

    History and tradition: 4 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 2
    Star drivers: Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Damon Hill.

4. Williams

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    Rich in history and tradition, the Williams F1 team recently celebrated its 600th Grand Prix start when they took part in the German Grand Prix.

    The famous privateer outfit boasts no fewer than nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ titles, winning its first drivers’ and constructors’ double in 1980 with champion Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann.

    Since then, eight more have followed with the team’s most dominant season coming in 1992 with Nigel Mansell piloting the Adrian Newey-designed FW14b to 10 wins and 15 pole positions from 16 races.

    The ban on driver aids briefly halted the Williams dominance but Newey’s design genius helped Damon Hill canter to the 1996 title with Jacques Villeneuve claiming the last of the team’s titles to date the following year.

    History and tradition: 4 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 9
    Star drivers: Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill, Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve.

3. McLaren

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    Although Williams have one more constructors’ title to their credit, McLaren trumps its British rivals in terms of drivers’ championships with 12 and has produced some of the most iconic moments the sport has ever seen.

    Emerson Fittipaldi gave the manufacturer its first driver and constructor double with his second title in 1974, but in terms of true drama, few will forget James Hunt’s dramatic title triumph over Niki Lauda two seasons later, which is now the subject of Ron Howard’s epic movie Rush.

    Lauda would win his own title for McLaren in 1984 before teammate Alain Prost triumphed in 1985 and again in 1986. But when many people think of McLaren’s glory years they will cast their minds back to the end of the turbo-era when feuding teammates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost dominated the 1988 season with 15 wins from 16 races including 15 poles.

    McLaren would deliver Senna all three of his world titles and Prost three out of his four as the team dominated for four seasons from 1988-91. They would not win a title again until 1998 with Mika Hakkinen delivering two drivers’ and one constructors’ championship.

    Memories of Senna vs. Prost came flooding back during an ill-tempered 2007 season between teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso before Hamilton bagged the last of McLaren’s titles in a dramatic finale in 2008.


    History and tradition: 4 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 8
    Star drivers: Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button.

2. Lotus

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    Colin Chapman’s Lotus F1 team is not only one of the most successful the sport has ever seen but certainly one of the most iconic.

    Names such as Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna achieved notable success with the Norfolk team.

    But when many people think of the Lotus glory days, they think of one driver in particular. The great Jim Clark dominated the 1963 season in his Lotus 25, winning seven out of the 10 races, and he was almost as dominant in 1965 with six victories.

    Clark surely would have added to the tally but for his tragic death in an F2 race in 1968, as Graham Hill took the title.

    If Adrian Newey is the genius of today, it was Colin Chapman who set the precedent. His principle was to add speed through lightness, and he made his cars more agile and efficient when everyone else’s focus was to add more power. He pioneered the monocoque chassis, aerofoil wings and ground effect, changing F1 forever.

    Rindt, Fittipaldi and Andretti would all go on to secure world titles with Lotus before the team left the sport in 1994.

    The team name is now back in the sport after a lengthy and complex legal dispute over naming rights but the Chapman legacy lives on with the famous Lotus emblem adorning the black and gold liveries on Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean’s machines.

    History and tradition: 5 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 7
    Star drivers: Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson, Carlos Reutemann, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Mika Hakkinen.

1. Ferrari

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    Of course, there can only be one winner here.

    The team founded by the legendary Enzo Ferrari is not only the oldest surviving team in grand prix racing but also the most successful with 15 drivers’ championships and 16 constructors’ titles to its name.

    Alberto Ascari set the ball rolling with back-to-back titles in 1952 and 1953 before the great Juan Manuel Fangio added a third in 1956.

    Since then, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen have all won drivers' world championships with the team.

    Ferrari went 21 tears without winning a title until Schumacher delivered five titles on the bounce in the most successful period of the team’s distinguished history from 2000-2004.

    Only time will tell if another German driver and a new Austrian team will match those dizzy heights, although Ferrari’s distinguished history and tradition will likely never be eclipsed.

    History and tradition: 5 stars
    Constructors’ titles: 16
    Star drivers: Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Gilles Villeneuve, Jody Scheckter, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso.