Over the years, the Formula One circuits have attracted some of the greatest drivers in the world. Yet, none of them would have gotten very far without a great ride. For their speed and innovation, these are some of the best F1 cars ever built.
The McLaren MP4/4
With a 94% success rate, the MP4/4 is one the most exceptional F1 cars. Featuring a Honda V6 turbo engine and a honeycomb carbon fiber chassis, it’s no surprise why this beauty took the tracks by storm. Driven by Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Niki Lauda, the MP4/4 won nearly every race it was in. For its ability to dominate all the others on the track, the MP4/4 reigns supreme in the history of F1 cars.
The Benneton B195
Before his steady relationship with Ferrari, Michael Schumacher hit the track with Benetton’s B195. The B195 was a much-needed improvement on its predecessor, the B194. It was given a smaller, yet powerful Renault RS7 V10 engine and smaller wings to improve the car’s aerodynamics. These improvements led to the B195 earning its place among the best F1 cars—driving in the B195, Schumacher won his first World Driver Championship in 1994.
The Red Bull RB9
The RB9 is no stranger to the winner’s circle. In 2019, Sebastian Vettel drove this hotrod over the finish line to win his ninth consecutive Grand Prix. With its naturally aspirated V8 engine, the original RB9 was the last of its kind as Formula One began to favor newer, turbocharged hybrid engines. Yet, despite the tides of change, the RB9 remains a favorite of many F1 enthusiasts and is still among the top F1 cars ever made.
The Williams FW14
Making its debut in 1991, the FW14 was in a league of its own from the start. With improved aerodynamics and a powerful Renault V10 engine, the FW14 was able to outshine its elite peers from McLaren and Ferrari. With active suspension, semi-automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, and traction control this car was destined to be a winner. In 1992, Nigel Mansell got behind the wheel of the FW14 and secured nine Grand Prix wins.
The Lotus 72
A list of the greatest F1 cars wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the wildly successful Lotus 72. This car deviated from standards at the time to include an overheard air intake system and sidepods to mount radiators on each side of the engine. The car first made waves in 1970, when Jochen Rindt used it to win four Grand Prix and the Drivers’ Championship. This car also won the Constructors’ Cup three times. As such, no one can deny that the Lotus 72 is one of the greatest Formula One cars ever built.