Worst car to ever win a Grand Prix?

This topic contains 25 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Michal 2 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
  • Author
  • #303033


    Giancarlo Fisichella won the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix in the Jordan EJ13. The car scored only three more points during the rest of the season (a 7th and an 8th place finish.) Has there ever been a worse Grand Prix winning car? What are some other candidates that come to mind?


    R.J. O’Connell

    The 1996 Ligier JS43 won the Monaco GP but that victory accounted for 10 of the 15 points it scored all year. Week in and week out, the Jordan, Sauber, and maybe even the Tyrrell (in Salo’s hands) were faster.



    That probably wouldn’t have been the worst car to win a grand prix but Alonso’s victory at Sepang in F2012. They were clearly slower than Mercedes, Lotus, Red Bull and McLaren during the early flyaways and on par with Sauber and Williams at best. But I still think Alonso would have been quicker in those two teams than in F2012 early that season. Massa surely wasn’t that terrible like others were saying! It’s not the most accurate reflection to say Ferrari is faster than Sauber when Alonso outqualifies Kobayashi by 0.1 while Massa is 0.5 off.



    I’m not a Damon fan, but the 97 Arrows victory he had in Hungary was probably in a pretty ordinary car.



    Some people might dispute this, but the 96 Ferrari was a bad car.

    Schumacher won 3 times in it, 1st time was in the rain where he was lapping up to 4 secs a lap faster than anyone else in teh conditions, the 2nd was at spa where a bad SC call for Villeneuve and Hill handed the race to the German, and the last win was the Italian GP, the williams duo hit a stack of tyres, in separate incidents, that forced Hill into retirement after comfortably leading and JV had suspension damage after his encounter early on.

    Essentially it was a season dominated by the Williams (175 Points WCC) and Ferrari finished 2nd (70 points in WCC) in the constructors championship 2 points ahead of Benetton in 3rd. Schumacher would not have been able to win any of those 3 races with the circumstances he found himself in. Eddie Irvine (teammate) finished 11th in drivers championship while Schumacher was 3rd.


    Iestyn Davies

    Interesting question, 2003 Jordan would be the worst one for a long time. Virtual WTCC champion Roland Ehnstrom makes some suggestions in this similar thread: Worst car to win a Grand Prix.

    Clark US 1966 – BRM H16 engine’s only win, ‘worst engine to win’, two V8s combined
    Rodriguez SA 1967 – old mid-50’s Maserati 250F engines re-used to start the 3L era
    Surtees ITA 1967 – Honda RA300, using a Lola chassis (think the current McLaren-Honda)
    Alboreto Detroit 1983 – final DFV win, suited to the track but slow everywhere else!

    Villeneuve in 1981 gets some mentions too, Jarama/Monaco? I wonder if the last Ferrari front engined win could count? The rear-engined Coopers that year really showed the way.. so the Monza banking was used for raw power at the Italian GP!



    Some people might dispute this, but the 96 Ferrari was a bad car.

    Schumacher won 3 times in it, 1st time was in the rain where he was lapping up to 4 secs a lap faster than anyone else in the conditions

    Schumacher was fenomenal in wet conditions, but if you are lapping up to 4 secs a lap faster than anyone else, than you are clearly not driving a bad car. At least not bad for the (wet) conditions.

    Some say that rain is the great equalizer but it isn’t really. Setup and quality of the car is still very important. It’s just that some cars and some drivers are faster in wet than they are in dry so everything gets mixed up, but that doesn’t make the situation ‘equal’.

    Same goes for Vettel in Monza 2008. Sure it was a (really) great achievement, but also his teammate Bourdais was very fast (4th on the grid). It’s a shame that his car broke down, or STR might achieved a 1-2 finish.



    @fastiesty Interesting link. I see someone mentioned the Benetton B195 there. Now the car won the driver’s and constructor’s championships in ’95 so it was clearly fast, but I have read before that the handling of that car was pretty poor and that it was an extremely difficult car to drive. Obviously not the worst Grand Prix winning car, but maybe the worst title winning car? If you look at onboard clips of Michael Schumacher from that time he is really wrestling the car, and it does not look easy to drive at all. Gerhard Berger famously said the ’95 car was undriveable when he joined Benetton for ’96.

    The Ferrari ‘Cadillac’ that Gilles Villeneuve won two races with in 1981 is definitely a good candidate.


    Iestyn Davies

    @debaser91 Worst title winning car is another thread to start! Interestingly, what about 1982 Williams? I say this because the Renault was very fast that year but didn’t have the reliability, while Ferrari went through both drivers and won the WCC – Williams was 4th behind McLaren as well (Watson). Any DWCs with a car worse than 4th in WCC?


    Keith Collantine

    Although it was daring, unconventional and sounded terrific, the BRM H16 engine was overweight, underpowered and unreliable. So I think Jim Clark’s win in the Lotus 43/BRM H16 belongs on this list:


    Oh, and we can’t forget Gilles Villeneuve’s unfathomable back-to-back wins in the Ferrari 126CK, a car whose only strength was its engine, around the twists of Monaco and Jarama in 1981.


    Prof Kirk

    Sebastian Vettel had it pretty tough in the RB7 and RB9



    Couple of one-off winners worth mentioning.
    Jenson Button’s Honda in 2006, not a disaster but it needed a wet race to be a winner, and was nothing like as good as their 2004 car.

    And the 1984 Williams-Honda. Evil handling and turbo lag, not the ideal combination for Monaco… not really my suggestion – I just remember Nigel Roebuck picked it when asked this question around the time Fisichella won in his Jordan.

    Note the common theme, and keep an eye on those McLarens this year!



    @bullfrog The ’84 Monaco Grand Prix is the famous half point race won by Prost, where Ayrton Senna and Stefan Bellof were both catching before the race was red flagged.
    Keke Rosberg won the ’83 Monaco GP, but that was in the Williams FW08C which still had the normally aspirated Cosworth engine. Keke did win in the car you describe at Dallas ’84 though, so it is still a good candidate!



    Maldonado for Williams in Barcelona 2012, anyone?
    Williams’ drivers finished the season at 15th and 16th place, and the next best finish for that car was 5th, once in Abu Dhabi.



    As people have said, we can safely say that the 1982, 83 and 84 Williamses were all dreadful cars! Keke Rosberg flattered them all; as evidenced by what his teammates were doing (or not doing) with them in the same time period.

    I believe Jacques Laffite failed to qualify a few times in 1983 in a Williams – a car Rosberg took to a win.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.