They drive around regular tables and whole generations of motorsport fans who wonders, what is the best racing car?
Identifying the best Formula 1 cars of all time is not that easy. There are thousand answers to that or none. Because everyone has their own view and scale. Some judge emotionally, others with numbers. And yet others say that you can’t compare drivers and cars of different eras.
That is true and not true. It can be argued that Alfa Romeo did not find any equivalent opponents in 1950 in the year of Formula One’s birth. Cars like Ferrari, Maserati, Talbot, Gordini are just not fast enough. In 1988, McLaren MP4-4 was joined by 17 competitors. Among them Ferrari, Williams, Lotus and Benetton. But they were as far removed from the class primacy as the opponents of the Alfetta once were.
The last two Mercedes have each cleared 16 cups of winners. But there were also 19 Grand Prix in one season. In the 1950s, there were rarely more than 10 races. If longevity were to count, 2 cars would be ahead. The Lotus 72 debuted in 1970 and won three races in 1974 in its fifth season. The McLaren M23 became world champion in 1976, in the fourth year of its existence with James Hunt.
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The Best F1 Cars Of All Time
The life cycle of a Formula 1 car today is limited to one year. No matter how successful it was. From this point of view, only the view of a season is a fair yardstick. The number of races only plays a role in the event of a tie. 7 wins in 7 starts is better than 6 at 6. The 1988 McLaren, with 15 successes at 16 Grand Prix, is ahead of the Ferrari F2002 with 14 wins in 15 starts.
That’s why the 1952 Ferrari 500 is the king of all Formula One cars. He won every race he competed in. His successor defeated Maserati a year later. The Alfa Romeo Tipo 158 was also rolled into the museum undefeated. The construction of Gioacchino Colombo did not take part in the 500 miles of Indianapolis, which were still part of the World Cup at that time. The same applies to the Ferrari 500.
The first world champion car in history was constructed as early as 1937. And 13 years later, it was still competitive. Because after the war there were no means to build new racing cars. The Alfetta lived on its engine. The 385 hp from the row night cylinder with 1,479 cm3 displacement and compressor were unrivalled.
The same goes for the Ferrari 500, which was actually a Formula 2 car. The FIA had to advertise the 1952 and 1953 World Championships for the second class due to a lack of Formula One cars. The engine power dropped to 180 hp, the lap times increased by 7 to 12 seconds.
Ferrari Three Times In The Top Ten
Like Ferrari, Mercedes brought 3 cars into the top ten. The W196 from the 1950s brought down the competition with high-pitched technology, an incredible effort of money, man and material and a general staff planning. Direct injection, desmodromics, internal drum brakes to reduce unsprung masses, single-wheel suspension with rotary rod suspension and a side-sloping motor to reduce the end face were among the characteristics of the silver arrows.
No 70s Car In The Leaderboard
Williams dominated Formula One in 1987, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 1997. The most unspectacular car in this series was the best. Adrian Newey and Patrick Head had perfected their predecessor with the FW18 from 1996. Flat, aerodynamically more efficient, with 750 hp from the Renault ten-cylinder. The car covered by far the most race kilometers in the field and came through the 16 races with only 3 defects. His opponents were weakening. Benetton fell back. Ferrari wasn’t ready yet.