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Manufacturers in Formula 1: the playground of the car companies

Manufacturers in Formula 1
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A Automobile manufacturers and motorsport: this is a love-hate relationship. Some became legend on the racetrack, for others the competition was both a blessing and a curse. Car races are actually the ideal field of activity for car companies. As long as they win. Or lose with grace. Those who follow behind spoil their image. Especially in Formula 1. Everyone is watching, there is only limited control of success.

That is why many car companies keep their hands off the premier class. Or come and go. Or hide as pure engine suppliers. Only Ferrari was always there. That became the foundation of a myth. Ferrari is forgiven for defeat. It is part of the legend worship. Only those who suffer in bad times can really enjoy the moments of victory. Ferrari had both. The dry years like 1962, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1992, 1993 or 2014. The phases of dominance like 1952, 1953, 1961, 1975, 1979 and from 2000 to 2004.

The 235 GP victories by Ferrari are unmatched. McLaren follows with 182 victories and is currently not a threat to the record holder. Lotus ranks fifth on the all-time list with 81 victories. Colin Chapman's racing team no longer exists. Purists say: since 1994. Between 2010 and 2015, two teams fought over whether to continue using the Lotus name. They had the placet of the Chapman family, but were only Lotus Light.

Renault's eventful Formula 1 history

Ferrari and Lotus are small series manufacturers. But Formula 1 also lured the big corporations onto the floor. In 1954, Mercedes revived the pre-war Silver Arrow era with two world championship titles. The second comeback from 2010 onwards also makes use of this myth, but today it is more of a word than that the term Silver Arrow electrifies people. The great emotion has given way to cool sobriety. Then as now, Mercedes is a machine of victory. Since 2014, after four years of apprenticeship, Mercedes has continued what Alfred Neubauer's team demonstrated in the 1950s. Total success. All world titles went to Mercedes five times in a row. Ferrari's record is set.

Jean-Pierre Jabouille picked up for Renault in 1979 in Dijon the first pole and the first victory. It was the first victory of a turbocharged F1 car.

As an applicant, Mercedes is entering its tenth year in 2019. Together with 1954 and 1955, that makes 189 GP starts and 87 victories so far. That's a 46 percent success rate. In between, the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer supplied engines. McLaren was world champion twice between 1995 and 2014 with engines designed by Mario Illien. Mercedes had outsourced its engine business and set a new trend. Even when re-joining the team in 2010, the embarrassment factor was low. Mercedes bought the world championship team from BrawnGP.

Renault took significantly more risk. Getting started in 1977 was a great adventure. With a turbo engine, little experience on the chassis sector and radial tires from Michelin. The turbo pioneer never won the World Cup, but was close twice. In 1985 Renault withdrew from Formula 1 for the first time with 13 GP victories. But only half. The umbilical cord to Formula 1 was supplying teams with engines. Williams celebrated four titles with the Renault ten-cylinder, Benetton one in the 1990s. The Renault V10 was the best engine of its era.

17 years after saying goodbye, the French company made it smarter. He bought the Benetton team for $ 120 million. And finally became world champion. Fernando Alonso celebrated France's national pride in 2005 and 2006. At the end of 2009 it was over again. The racing team was privatized in the middle of the financial crisis. The Luxembourg financial juggler GĂ©rard Lopez led the team first under the name Renault, then as Lotus. In 2016, Renault brought back the team that they had once got rid of. In between, Renault stayed in business as Red Bull's engine partner. The difficult marriage produced four world titles from 2010 to 2013.

The end of the Italian brands

Alfa Romeo only shone in the first two years of Formula 1. The most powerful engine in the field helped a car that was designed in 1937 succeed in 1950 and 1951. The second era of the Milanese company was rather modest. The highlight remained two pole positions in 1980 in Watkins-Glen and 1982 in Long Beach. Victorieswere no longer added. At most, ridicule of the great thirst of engines and the vulnerability of technology. In 1985 Alfa Romeo retired 24 times in 16 starts with two cars. At the end of the season the board put an end to the horror.

Lamborghini V12 in the Lotus 102 from 1990.

Maserati was already there Disappeared at the end of the 1950s. A year after the greatest triumph, the company with the trident in the radiator grille ended its factory operations. In 1957 Juan-Manuel Fangio celebrated his fifth world title on a Maserati. After that, only privately registered Maserati drove on the Formula 1 slopes for three years. At the end of 1960, the Maserati 250F was obsolete. New cars were no longer built. Lancia's Formula 1 career only lasted four races. Then the money was out. Cars, spare parts and some key figures ended up at Ferrari.

Honda's history in Formula 1 is similar to that of Renault. A coming and going. From 1964 to 1968 and from 2006 to 2008 the Japanese were on their own mission. In between as an engine supplier, at times under the pseudonym Mugen. While the Honda-Honda only achieved three victories, Honda's V6 turbo and ten-cylinder and twelve-cylinder naturally aspirated engines also fueled world championship cars. Between 1988 and 1991 there was no getting around McLaren-Honda. In 2004 BAR became vice world champion with a Honda V10. In 2015, Honda entered the hybrid age. After four years of great pain, Honda is under high pressure of expectation in 2019. Red Bull wants to become world champion with Honda in the next two years.

German engines better than German cars

BMW made itself immortal in 1983 as the first turbo world champion. But Bayern have never really loved Formula 1. When boost pressure and fuel limits put Paul Rosche's four-cylinder turbo on the sidelines, the board of directors in Munich pulled the plug. And was only persuaded to make a comeback in 2000. As an engine partner of Williams. In 2003, the English-Bavarian co-production messed up the possible title due to individual mistakes by the team and drivers.

Afterwards, BMW wanted to take its fate into its own hands and bought into Sauber. But the bottom line was that there was no more than one GP victory in Montreal in 2008. OneA year later, the managers in the executive suite of the Munich four-cylinder engine discovered that the plan was not working out. At that point, the new technology from Kers was just a big bet, and then it was over again. The financial crisis and the development of more efficient engines for the road were a welcome excuse.

Porsche only ventured into Formula 1 for two years in 1961 with a souped-up Formula 2 car, and a year later with the Porsche 804. Despite a victory in Rouen, the chapter was quickly ended again. Porsche relied on sports car races. That was a better fit for the brand. From 1983 to 1987, Porsche delivered an engine to McLaren on a third-party basis. The TAG V6 Turbo became the match winner for three years. The attempt to enter the naturally aspirated engine era with a V12 at the beginning of the 1990s failed miserably.

A lot of effort, little success

Jaguar did it the other way around than Porsche. In the 50s and 60s Jaguar fought big fights against Mercedes, Ferrari, Maserati or Aston Martin at Le Mans, Sebring or on the Targa Florio, and in the late 80s and early 90s Tom Walkinshaw's big cats fought against Porsche and Mercedes in endurance races in the field. Then the British luxury brand cheated in Formula 1. In 2000 Jaguar took over the Stewart racing team. He had a respectable season in 1999 with 36 points and one win. Jaguar made things worse. In five years, the factory racing team only managed 49 points. Little income for a lot of money. Jaguar managed to get the best deal in the end. The English sold their team to Red Bull.

There was also nothing to inherit for Toyota. The Japanese pumped around $ 2 billion into the company for eight years and didn't get a win back. Only 280.5 World Championship points in 139 missions. The financial crisis was a welcome reason to cancel the expedition at the end of 2009. Factory and people stayed. The Formula 1 heirs finally won Le Mans on their 20th attempt in 2018.

Peugeot, Ford, Lamborghini and Yamaha never appeared in a Formula 1 entry list, but were still there. Peugeot supplied McLaren, Jordan and Prost with engines between 1994 and 2000. Ford financed the development of the legendary Cosworth V8 from 1967 and officially started as an engine manufacturer in 1986. Greatest success: The 1994 World Cup with Benetton and Michael Schumacher. Lamborghini built a V12 for Larrousse, Lotus, Modena and Minardi between 1989 and 1993. Yamaha tried the complete range: V8, V10, V12. The motorcycle manufacturer's customers were Zakspeed, Tyrrell, Jordan, Brabham and Arrows.

auto motor und sport is celebrating the 1,000th. Formula 1 races this season with a large series in 100 parts. In the daily countdown we provide you with an exciting story and interesting video features from the history of the premier class. You can find all previous articles on our >> overview page for the big anniversary grand -Prix.


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