Drivers Who Started Their Own F1 Teams!
Japanese F1 driver Aguri Suzuki drove for a number of teams in the early 1990s and scored the podium at his home race in 1990. From there he took on the role of team owner in Super GT in America and in late 2005 announced he’s going to enter F1 with his Honda team. Driver Yuji Ide made a memorable impression for having a number of accidents and ended up being banned from racing in F1 altogether. While producing a number of sharp underdog performances, Takuma Sato is remembered for overtaking defending world champion Fernando Alonso in Canada to a brilliant sixth finish. However, this was not enough and in 2008 the team withdrew from the championship.
Emerson and Wilson Fittipaldi
The brothers had experience building and operating racing cars in Brazil and in 1973 decided to start their own team. While Emerson went to McLaren and won the championship, Wilson took a year and spent 1974 developing Fittipaldi Automotive. Wilson’s first season driving in 1975 was not very successful and he retired as a racer at the end of the year to focus on leading the team. Emerson joined in 1976 but only won two podiums in five years as a team racer. The cars became less and less competitive, and after the money ran out in early 1983, the team folded.
Jack Brabham’s team was quite successful in the early years with victories and podiums. In 1966, Brabham won the constructors and drivers titles, making Jack the only racer to win the championship with his own car, a feat that is unlikely to be equaled. The following year Brabham won constructors again and Denny Hulme won another driver’s title. Jack retired as a racer after a successful year in 1970 and sold his stake to Tauranac, who then sold it all to Bernie Ecclestone. Nelson Piquet won two more titles in 1981 and 1983. Ecclestone sold the team in 1988, the team moved in with new owners who were a shadow of their former self and ran out of money at the end of the 1992 season.
After running successful teams at Cannon and Formula 5000. In 1964, John Surtees decided to move up to f1 as owner-driver in 1970. Surtees himself retired as a driver in 1972 and former motorcycle champion Mike Hailwood scored the team’s first podium at Italy that year. Surtees accumulate points in each but one year they compete before they run out of cash at the end of 1978.
One of the most famous and successful racing teams of all time was founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren from New Zealand. In 1966 he decided to expand to f1 and in 1968 McLaren won its first Grand Prix. After Bruce’s sudden death in 1970 Teddy Mayer took over the team and McLaren won the title in 1974 with Emerson Fittipaldi and in 1976 with James Hunt. In 1981, Ron Dennis took over the team and helped bring it to the most dominant phase of the championships with Nicki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, and Lewis Hamilton, McLaren has become one of the greatest teams of all time.
When Ford wanted to increase its participation in F1, three-time world champion Jackie Stewart and son Paul began creating the Stewart Grand Prix for the 1997 season. By 1999 the car competed with Rubens Barrichello, who took pole position, and won three podium finishes through the year, while Johnny Herbert grabbed a sensational victory at the wet-dry Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Buoyed by the success, Ford wanted to increase its commitment even further, and brought the team and renamed it Jaguar. Five years later the team was sold to Red Bull.
Four-time world champion Alain Prost has toyed with the idea of starting his own team while he was still competing, but it wasn’t until his retirement that it became a reality. In 1997 he led the Gauloises team and renamed it the Prost Grand Prix. The first year was promising as Olivier Panis won two podiums and battled for victory before breaking his leg in a fall at the Canadian Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli also came close to winning in Austria that same year, but since then things really went downhill, except for the podium at the chaotic European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, the team rarely scored points and in 2002 the team went bankrupt.