Surnames in the F1 team names come from the founders or owners of the brands that started inside or outside the tracks, Omar Alvarez presents a list.
Six of the 10 teams in the current F1 grid are named after their owner or founder – it was seven few days back but with Sauber deciding to change to Alfa Romeo Racing, it ended 25 years of Peter Sauber’s name in the sport.
There looked like a change with Racing Point (formerly Force India) which could have had a new identity which may have involved co-owner Lawrence Stroll, but it is now likely after the FIA entry list that the provisional name will stay as it is.
Even though, the old identity ‘Sahara Force India’ did not have Vijay Mallya’s name in the team name but the car’s chassis identity – VJM – was called after its co-owner. One of outfit’s previous identities, Jordan Grand Prix, was after its owner’s name, Eddie Jordan.
Meanwhile, in the specific case of Mercedes, the name comes from Mercedes-Benz which in turn was given by Karl Benz with ‘Mercedes’ coming from Mercedes Jellinek, the daughter of Emil Jellinek, who was part of the company for long.
List of F1 teams using the family name in the current grid:
Ferrari: Enzo Ferrari (Italy)
McLaren: Bruce McLaren (Great Britain)
Williams: Sir Frank Williams (Great Britain)
Haas: Gene Haas (USA)
Mercedes: Mercedes-Benz (Germany)
Renault: Louis Renault (France)
F1 teams of the past with similar cases – which have won titles and races:
Cooper: Charles Cooper (Great Britain)
Tyrrell: Ken Tyrrell (Great Britain)
Jordan: Eddie Jordan (Great Britain) – now Racing Point
Brabham: Jack Brabham (Great Britain)
Ligier: Guy Ligier (France)
Brawn GP: Ross Brawn (Great Britain) – now Mercedes
Fittipaldi: Wilson & Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil)
Hesketh: Alexander Hesketh (Great Britain)
Embassy Hill: Graham Hill (Great Britain)
Larrousse: Gerard Larrouse (France)
Osella: Enzo Osella (Italy)
Prost GP: Alain Prost (France)
Benetton: Luciano Benetton (Great Britain)
Team Rebaque: Hector Alonso Rebaque (Mexico – Great Britain)
Sauber: Peter Sauber (Switzerland) – now Alfa Romeo Racing
Surtees: John Surtees (Great Britain)
Stewart: Jackie Stewart (Great Britain) – now Red Bull Racing
Toleman: Ted & Bob Toleman (Great Britain)
Wolf: Walter Wolf (Cananda)
Minardi: Giancarlo Minardi (Italy) – now Toro Rosso
Of the F1 teams still present, five of them are world champions, who are Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari, Williams and Renault. Of those that no longer race, some won titles, who are Brawn GP, Brabham, Benetton, Cooper and Tyrrell.
The list above – as mentioned – contains only the teams who not only won F1 races but also had world championships to their name. There are many other outfits which carried their founder/owner name but did not succeed at the highest level.
Story ideated and co-written by Omar Alvarez