The F1 Constructor Championship Trophy
Even though the first F1 World Championship took place in 1950, it wasn’t until 1958 that a constructors’ title was introduced. Since then, more a 100 teams have built cars to race for the F1 World Championship. But in all of those years, only 15 teams have managed to win the F1 Constructors Championship.
The rules that decide the winner for the constructors’ championship have evolved a great deal too. Until 1980, only the best-placed car on the grid from each team could score a point.
The first Constructors’ Championship was first awarded in 1958 and back then was known as the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers. Vanwall won it. Mercedes won the latest Constructors’ Championship in 2020.
Here is the list of the five most successful F1 teams of all time.
- Scuderia Ferrari – 16 constructor titles
Ferrari celebrating their 2004 Constructors Championship
Title years: 1961, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
Perhaps it’s not surprising at all to anyone that the “Prancing Horses” is the most successful team in F1 with 16 titles.
Founded in 1947 by Enzo Ferrari, Ferrari has participated in every championship since 1950 and is the oldest active team on the grid. During the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, they became the first team to celebrate its 1000 race.
Ferrari is arguably the most successful F1 team ever, in every aspect possible as they have the most amount of Constructors’ Championship(16), Drivers Championships(15), race victories(237), pole positions(230), podiums(771), fastest laps(253) and points won(8551.50).
Throughout its history, some of the most famous drivers have raced for them- Alberto Ascari, Juan-Manuel Fangio, John Surtees, Nikki Lauda, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.
They won their first Constructors’ Championship in 1961, with Phil Hill winning the Drivers’ championship. The last time they won a Constructors’ Championship was in 2008 with Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.
Despite being one of the front-runners, though, for the good part of the last decade, Ferrari has been unable to stop the domination of its rivals. At the beginning of the decade, it was Red Bull who dominated, and then it was Mercedes who dominated for the rest of the decade. During the same period, Ferrari has finished runner-up five times.
With 2022 introducing brand new regulations and cars, Ferrari will hope to start winning championships again as they aren’t used to going this long without winning anything at all.
- Williams – 9 constructors titles
The Williams FW19
Title years: 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
People might be surprised to see Williams this high on the list, or even on the list at all, after seeing them regularly at the back of the grid for the past few years.
Founded in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams, Williams has won a total of 9 Constructors’ Championships in their history, with their first title coming in 1980, 3 years after they entered the sport. And over the next 17 years, they won another eight titles, with their last one coming in 1997. They also have won seven Drivers’ Championship during the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the notable drivers that have driven for the team are Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve.
The turn of the century has gone the way Williams had hoped for. Claire and Frank Williams stepped down in the middle of last season, but the Williams name is expected to remain in the Formula One paddock for the foreseeable future.
- McLaren – 8 constructor titles
The McLaren MP4/4
Title years: 1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998
Founded by race driver Bruce McLaren in 1963, McLaren is the second oldest active team in the F1 paddock. In terms of Drivers’ Championship, McLaren is the second most successful team with 12 titles, three shy of Ferrari’s total of 15. But when it comes to the Constructors’ Championship, they only have won 8 titles, which is good enough for third place. They also have the second most amount of race victories(182).
They won their first Constructors’ title in 1974, with Emerson Fittipaldi winning the Drivers’ title also that year. Their most successful period was from 1984 to 1991, when they won a total of 6 Constructors Championships and 7 Drivers Championships. Some of the most notable drivers that have been part of the team are Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Emerson Fittipaldi.
It has been 30 years since they had their most successful period in F1, and in those last 30 years, they have won 3 Drivers’ titles but only one Constructors’ Championship, which they won in 1997 with Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard.
- Lotus – 7 constructor titles
The Lotus 72D
Title years: 1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1978
Just like Williams and McLaren, Lotus won all its titles in a short period and then faded. Founded by Colin Chapman in 1952, Lotus entered F1 in 1958 and waited for another five years before they won their first Constructor’s Championship in 1963, with Legendary Scottish driver, Jim Clark winning seven out of ten races that season. They won another 6 Constructors’ titles over the next 15 years. They also won another 5 Drivers’ Championship in the same period.
Notable drivers for them are Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Lotus exited the championship in the early 1990s. Since then, two teams have taken the Lotus name, with one of them even receiving some backing from the founding company, but neither one of them were worthy of the name.
- Mercedes – 7 constructor titles
Mercedes celebrating the 2020 constructors championship
Title years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
No team on this list has quite dominated F1 in the way Mercedes have in the years they have officially been a team in the sport. They first competed in the FIA F1 World Championship in 1954, and they were an instant success- they won the drivers’ championships in 1954 and 1955. There was no Constructors’ Championship till 1958; otherwise, they would have won those titles.
However, at the end of 1955, they withdrew from all motorsports after Pierre Leveigh’s horrific accident in a Mercedes at Le Mans, which led to the death of 80 spectators. They didn’t appear as a constructor in F1 for another 55 years.
They made their comeback in 2010 when they bought Brawn GP and rebranded the team to Mercedes. Since their return in F1, they won 7 consecutive Constructors’ Championship and 7 Drivers’ Championship from 2014 onwards. They have dominated F1 ever since the start of the turbo-hybrid era and have won an astonishing 106 out of 149 races that they took part in. They also have won 113 pole positions during the same period.
Notable drivers that have been with the team are Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. The last won the Constructors title the previous year, with Hamilton also winning his sixth Drivers’ championship.