In 2014, when Formula 1 changed the engine rules in a bid to be more eco-friendly, little did anyone know that it would change the course of the sport’s history.
The 2.4-litre V8 engines were replaced with 1.6-litre V6s with a single turbocharger and the fuel limit was reduced. In the five seasons since then, Mercedes has gone on to win both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship. Incidentally, 2014 was the Silver Arrows’ first-ever title.
At Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, world champion Lewis Hamilton’s win sealed Mercedes fifth driver and team double since the start of the hybrid era. Hamilton has won four of those with Nico Rosberg winning in 2016. And with his win two weeks back in Mexico, Briton Hamilton became only the third driver in history to win five F1 world championships, drawing level with Juan Manuel Fangio. Only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher is now ahead of him.
As with their star Hamilton, Mercedes’s fifth title has written several new records. After winning in 2017, Mercedes matched McLaren (1988-1991) and Red Bull (2010-2013) of claiming four straight constructors’ crowns. But now, the Silver Arrows are just the second team in history to win five titles in a row.
This win puts them clear of Red Bull, who dominated the early part of this decade with four straight titles. Mercedes are now in fourth place in the all-time list of constructors’ championship titles.
Ferrari, of course, is the most successful F1 team of all times with 16 titles including 6 consecutive championships from 1999 to 2004. Williams’ nine and McLaren’s eight follow in the next two spots.
F1 Constructors' Championship leader board
|Team||Constructor's Championships||Seasons||Consecutive run|
|Ferrari||16||1961, 1964, (1975, 1976, 1977), 1979, (1982, 1983), (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), (2007, 2008)||6|
|Williams||9||(1980, 1981), (1986, 1987), (1992, 1993, 1994), (1996, 1997)||3|
|McLaren||8||1974, (1984, 1985), (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991), 1998||4|
|Lotus||7||1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, (1972, 1973), 1978||2|
|Mercedes||5||( 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)||5|
|Red Bull||4||(2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)||4|
While Mercedes will still need more time to match the historic might of the Prancing Horse, they could well break another record. They are now just one championship away from equalling Ferrari’s record of six straight constructors’ championships. If they continue in the same vein in 2019, it’s hard to imagine Ferrari’s Vettel and Charles Leclerc take it away from Hamilton-powered Mercedes.
Constructors’ Championship points are calculated by adding points scored in each race by any driver for that constructor. Despite Sebastian Vettel losing the world championship race, Ferrari had a slim chance to deny their arch-rivals another stab at history. But they could not out-score Mercedes by 13 points or more to and will go into the season finale in Abu Dhabi knowing they have squandered many chances for the second straight year, turbo-hybrid regulations or not.