It takes a lot to build the perfect car. While there have been plenty of icons of design down the years, matching perfect performance with beauty is not always easy. Of course, the teams behind Formula One cars face a whole different type of pressure to get it right. It can take years for mistakes to be corrected and even the big names like Ferrari can spend years in the wilderness.
Sometimes, however, the constructors can get it just right, striking the perfect balance between reliability, power, speed and agility to create the perfect driving machine. Below are three cars from F1 history that got as close as possible to perfection in an ever-evolving sport:
Michael Schumacher’s fifth F1 title for Ferrari and his seventh overall came in the F2004. To say the car hit the ground running at the start of the season is something of an understatement – Schumacher won 12 of the first 13 races of the 2004 F1 season. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello took second place in the Drivers’ Championship to help Ferrari secure an easy Constructors’ Championship. The car was graceful, but the way Schumacher handled it that season was a thing of beauty. Ferrari have a lot of work to do to get back to anywhere near the standard that they set in the early 2000s.
Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid:
Only one Grand Prix out of 21 in the 2016 season did not have one of the Mercedes’ drivers – Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg – as the race winner. The car was simply phenomenal, and it was the foundation of their continued success to this day, with Mercedes not looking back since. Consider the fact that Mercedes are currently given odds of 1/2 to win the Constructors’ Championship and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is priced at odds of 6/5 to win the Drivers’ Championship before the 2018 season has even started. Think someone like Red Bull (3/1), Ferrari (4/1) or McLaren (20/1) can catch Mercedes? Bet on motorsports with the latest betting offers, because you don’t want to be betting against all-conquering Mercedes with your own money.
What would F1 be like today if you had two drivers like Alain Prost and Aryton Senna battling it out for the world title? That was the luxury afforded to McLaren in 1988, with two legends of the sport driving their iconic MP4/4 car. They took 15 of the 16 races that season, with the only other race win going to Ferrari just weeks after the death of Enzo Ferrari. By the end of the season, McLaren-Honda had three times as many points as second-placed Ferrari. Much was down to the men behind the wheel, but the MP4/4 was a feat of engineering that has made it be regarded as one of the best – and most iconic – F1 cars of all time.