Can You Name the Formula One World Champion from Just a Photo of Their Race Car?

By: Robin Tyler

In 2014, Formula 1 switched from V8 engines to V6 turbo hybrid engines. Mercedes were the most successful in this regard, which handed the world championship to Lewis Hamilton ,who won 11 out of 19 races he entered driving the Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid.

One of the most dominating cars ever built in Formula 1 history, the Ferrari F2004 helped Michael Schumacher to 12 wins in the first 13 races of the season. He went on to win his seventh world championship by the end of the season.

Introduced in 1950, the Alfa Romeo 158 won every race it was entered into that year and 47 of the 54 races it contested in its lifetime. It was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio during his championship winning year of 1951.

The McLaren MP4/4 is possibly the greatest Formula 1 car ever built. It won 15 out of 16 races in 1988, giving Ayrton Senna his first world title.

Although there were 7 different winners from the first 7 races of the season in 2012, the Red Bull RB8 was good enough to see Sebastian Vettel to four wins in the final races of the season to secure the world championship.

The Renault R26 saw Fernando Alonso win his second world championship in a row. Reliability and speed were its strength, and Alonso won 7 races in 2006.

After some changes in car design for the 1996 season, which demanded that drivers sit lower in the vehicles, the FW18 from Williams dominated. It won 12 out of 16 races that year, and saw Damon Hill become world champion. His father had won the title in the '60s and the pair became the first father and son world champions.

The Mercedes W07 Hybrid dominated Formula 1 in 2016, winning 19 out of 21 races and seeing Nico Rosberg become world champion. This is the most dominant Formula 1 car ever, in terms of the ratio of wins to races entered.

With its two intake vents in the front, the Ferrari 156 was called the "Sharknose." With Phil Hill at the wheel, it won the 1961 drivers and constructors championship.

One of the world's modern fairytales as Brawn, essentially the Honda team from the year before, stunned the Formula 1 world by winning in their first and only season in the sport. After Jenson Button won six out of seven races to start the season, Brawn held on for Button to become world champion, with the Brawn 0001 taking him to the title.

In 1959, the Cooper T51 became the first rear-engined car to win the world championship, with Jack Brabham crowned champion.

After almost winning the world championship in 1984, Alain Prost become the first Frenchman to claim the crown thanks to the McLaren MP4/2B

In 1981, the Brabham BT49C brought Nelson Piquet a world championship. It was and still is, one of the most beautiful Formula 1 cars ever produced.

Another dominant car, the FW14B from Williams made use of active suspension to leave its competitors trailing in its wake. Nigel Mansell was the driver who benefited from this brilliant piece of machinery.

In 1995, Michael Schumacher won his first championship behind the wheel of Benetton B194. It wasn't all plain sailing, however, as he had to fight off Damon Hill driving a Williams.

One of the first cars to take advantage of aerodynamics under the vehicle, the Lotus 79 won five races out of six with Mario Andretti behind the wheel in 1978.

The title went to James Hunt in 1976 driving a McLaren M23. It was a closely fought contest with Hunt winning the title at the last race of the year after Niki Lauda withdrew because of weather conditions.

Incredibly, the Ferarri F2002 won all but one of the races it was entered into in 2002. It even was used the beginning of the 2003 season and won there as well. In the hands of Michael Schumacher, it was extremely hard to beat.

The Ferrari Dino 245 (named after Enzo Ferrari's son) became the first V6-powered car to win a grand prix and a world championship, making Mike Hawthorn Britain's first world champion in 1958

After Williams' domination for much of the '90s, McLaren was back into the swing of things in 1998 with Mika Hakkinen, driving an MP4/13, taking the title. The MP4/13 won 9 races that year.

Graham Hill won his first championship in 1962 driving the BRM P56 in which he achieved four victories and a second place.

Introduced in 1950, the Alfa Romeo 158 won every race it was entered into that year and 47 of the 54 races it contested in its lifetime. It was driven by Giuseppe Farina during his championship-winning year of 1950.

Incredibly, this Ferrari was used in Formula 1 from 1975 to 1980 with minor upgrades each year. It won 27 races, three driver's crowns and four constructors championships. Not only a classic but a phenomenal winner. Niki Lauda won two championships with this model, in 1975 and 1977.

The last of the V8-engined cars in Formula 1, the Red Bull R9 helped Sebastien Vettel to the overall crown in 2013. The German won 13 of the 19 races he entered.

At the 1957 German Grand Prix, Juan Manuel Fangio, driving a Maserati 250F, was 48 seconds behind the leader with 22 laps left. He caught him and won the race, and along with it the championship.

The F2007 saw Ferrari back to the peak of motorsport and allowed Kimi Raikkonen to win his first and only world championship. He won six out of 17 races that season.

Jim Clarke won his first championship in 1963 driving a Lotus 25 in which he achieved seven victories.

The first turbocharged car to win a Formula 1 championship, the Brabham BT52 was also the first and only BMW-powered car to claim this prestigious title. It was driven by Nelson Piquet.

The Lotus 72D made Emerson Fittipaldi the youngest Formula champion in 1972. It carried on the now-familiar wedge shape, but a massive air intake about the driver was also noticeable.

Until the Lotus 72C appeared in 1970, Formula 1 cars were fairly bulky. The 72c was far more aerodynamic thanks to its wedge shape. Jochen Rindt became the only driver to win the Formula 1 championship posthumously, after he died in a race before the end of the season.

Incredibly, this Ferrari was used in Formula 1 from 1975 to 1980 with minor upgrades each year. It won 27 races, three drivers crowns and four constructors championships. Not only a classic but a phenomenal winner. Jody Scheckter won his only championship driving this car in 1979.

In 1964 Ferrari gave John Surtees the chance to win a rare double. Already a 500 cc motorcycle world champion on four occasions, Surtees drove the Ferrari 158 in the championship and duly became world champion. This feat is likely to never be repeated again.

The car that gave Michael Schumacher his third world championship and Ferrari their first world champion since 1979, the F1-2000 goes down as a true classic in the Formula 1 world.

The first Formula 1 car to feature a fully-stressed monocoque chassis, the Lotus 25 dominated the championship in 1963, winning seven out of 10 races and taking Jim Clarke to the title.

In 1998, the McLaren MP4/13 was the fastest car in Formula 1 and won 9 out of 13 races, with Mika Hakkinen becoming world champion.

The car that broke Ferrari's five-year dominance in the sport, the Renault R25 took Fernando Alonso to the title in 2005. It was the last of the V10 engine cars to do so.

In the hands of Juan Manuel Fangion, the Mercedes-Benz W196 was a formidable car and saw the Argentine become world champion in 1955.

The first and only time a driver has won a world championship in a car that bore his name was in 1966, when Jack Brabham and his BT19 won the world championship.

The second car other than Ferrari that was built outside Great Britain to win the world championship, the Matra MS80 featured small wings. It was driven by the great Jacky Stewart.

In 1968, Lotus introduced the 49B. Not only did it win a world championship for Graham Hill, but it was the first Formula 1 car to feature wings.

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Image: Brian Snelson/Cord Rodefeld/Herranderssvensson/Bahnfrend via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Those magnificent men in their speeding machines!

Formula One is truly the pinnacle of world motorsport. From its inception in the early '50s, car lovers have followed the sport, backing their driver for ultimate glory. Although cars often remained unchanged in the early years of the sport, as advances in engines, aerodynamics and other factors came to the fore, these machines began to change at a phenomenal rate, especially when downforce began to make a huge contribution to how fast they could navigate the track. 

Taking a car from the 1950s and putting it next to one from today shows just how much the sport has changed over the years. One thing that has remained constant, however, is that beautiful wail those engines make when revving at their highest. 

Now the car, although a very important part of the overall package, is nothing without a driver. And it takes skill to enter the field of Formula One. Over the years, drivers have come from all over the world to win the Formula One championship. Think of that Argentine great that dominated in the '50s, or the Brazilian of the '80s and '90s who tragically died at the peak of his powers. And what about the German ace who has won the Formula One Championship SEVEN times?

But could you match them to their cars? Would a picture of just their machines help you to identify them?

Let's see!


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