Top Teams and Drivers in Formula One Today
Formula One racing is a challenging sport for both teams and drivers. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) sets demanding standards for this motor sport. These rules make it the most challenging and safest racing competition in the world.
In the past Formula One racing consisted of both private teams and corporate teams. The increasing cost of meeting the strict FIA rules combined with the dominance of teams owned by leading automobile manufacturers has forced most of the private racing teams to withdraw from Formula One racing. The only new teams to join the Formula One racing program in recent years have all been owned by automotive manufacturers.
Today four teams dominate Formula One racing: McLaren-Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW and Renault.
The McLaren-Mercedes team is based in Woking, UK. The team has been competing since 1966 and has won eight Formula One World Championships. The McLaren-Mercedes racecars feature a Mercedes-Benz FO 108T engine. Driving for McLaren-Mercedes are Lewis Hamilton and Fernado Alonso. Lewis Hamilton, from England, has entered a total of seven Grand Prix. He has not yet won a World Championship for Formula One racing. Spanish driver Fernado Alonso has entered over 95 Grand Prix races and has won two World Championships.
Based in Maranello, Italy, team Ferrari has been competing in Formula One racing since 1950. Ferrari has won fourteen World Championships. Ferrari utilizes a 056 engine in the team’s 2007 racecars. Brazilian native Felipe Massa has entered a total of 78 Formula One racing Grand Prix but has not yet won a World Championship. The 2006 Formula One racing season was Massa’s first with Ferrari. He is considered a rising star in the Formula One racing circuit. Massa’s teammate driver is Kimi Raikkonen of Finland. 2007 is Raikkonen’s first season with Ferrari but he has entered 112 Grand Prix during his Formula One racing career. His failure to win a World Championship is blamed on equipment performance rather than his driving ability.
Team BMW Sauber has dual home bases in Munich, Germany and Hinwil, Switzerland. Former team principal Peter Sauber stepped down after the team takeover by BMW in 2006. The team, which has been competing in Formula One racing since 1993 has not won a World Championship. For the 2007 Formula One racing season the team’s cars are equipped with a BMW P86/7 engine. Neither Nick Heidfeld nor Robert Kubica, the team’s two drivers, have ever won a World Championship. Heidfeld, a German, is more experienced, having entered 124 Grand Prix. Kubica is the first Polish driver to compete in Formula One racing. While he is an experienced test driver, Kubica has only entered 12 Grand Prix during his career.
Enstone, England is the home base for the Renault team. Renault has won two World Championships since it began competing in Formula One racing in 1977. For 2007 Renault is using the RS27 engine for Formula One racing competition. Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen is a relative newcomer in Formula One racing having entered only 7 Grand Prix. His more experienced teammate, Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, brings the experience of 186 Grand Prix to the 2007 season but neither has won a Formula One World Championship.
Of the remaining seven Formula One racing teams for the 2007 season, only Williams-Toyota, Toyota and Red Bull-Renault are considered serious competition
Winning a World Championship in Formula One racing is dependent upon the right mixture of excellent equipment and skillful drivers. The competition is fierce. Finding the right combination is the difference between a win and second place. These teams are ready to go.