Eight alternative Formula 1 histories | Top Gear
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Formula One

Eight alternative Formula 1 histories

What if... Porsche had entered F1? And Audi? And Brawn had continued?

  1. Audi Sport 'F1 RS-01'

    In motorsport, as in life, there are so many what ifs. What if Ayrton Senna didn't die in 1994, would he have beaten Michael Schumacher? What if Fernando Alonso had stayed with Renault and not gone to Ferrari, would he be the three-time champion his talent justifies? What if Schumacher hadn’t even gone to Ferrari? The list is endless. Artist Sean Bull, known for his reimagined livery concepts on F1 cars, has come up with some alternative F1 team histories. Here then, is the first one.

    In 1999 Audi entered the World Endurance Championship and became the dominant force we know today. But what if they'd entered F1 instead? Better still, what if they managed to persuade Schumacher to move away from Ferrari after three years of not winning the title?

    All images: Sean Bull Design

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  2. Porsche '805 e-hybrid'

    The V6 turbo-hybrid era began in 2014. But if the proposed four-cylinder design had won out, perhaps we might have seen a very different set of manufacturers. And with that, Porsche enters F1 with Alonso and Webber in the driving seat. Just imagine.

  3. BMW 'F1 12'

    BMW had targeted a fight for the F1 world title in 2009, following a successful 2008 campaign where they got their first win since returning. And much to Kubica’s frustration of wanting to keep developing the car in 2008 (as he was leading the championship) the 2009 car was a disappointment, and BMW took a long-term view to withdraw from F1.

    But... what if they hadn’t pulled out and Kubica didn’t go rallying? Could a championship have been up for grabs?

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  4. Brawn GP 'BGP011'

    If you don’t know the story of 2009 in F1 and Brawn then perhaps one should remove one's head from the sand. And if you don’t know how dominant Mercedes-AMG are in F1 then... maybe just give up now.

    However, what if... Brawn hadn’t sold to Mercedes and carried on, would they have been as strong as Merc are today? And, therefore, would Lewis be a six-time world champion?

  5. Honda 'RA109'

    Anyone remember the dreadful Honda 'Earth Car' livery? Ironically in today’s climate it now looks to be ahead of its time. In 2008 Honda pulled out of F1 after the financial crisis and sold that team to Brawn. Brawn famously went off to win the championship with Jenson Button in 2009.

    Though... what if Honda hadn’t left? Would they be world champions? This one's a little easier to predict: yeah, they probably would have been. Brawn's car was a 2009 Honda in disguise which had huge amounts of investment poured into it. The only other question mark would be whether - because Brawn ran Merc engines - the Honda engine would have been as strong...

  6. Peugeot '909-20'

    Peugeot have never been a manufacturer team in F1. Between 1994-2000 they supplied engines to various teams, one of those being Prost, which at the time felt like the defacto French/Peugeot team.

    But... what if they had decided to enter F1 in 2013 using their WEC livery, would they have done better as a works team?

  7. Toyota 'TFSO-19'

    Toyota decided to leave F1 after the 2008 financial crisis... but what if they hadn’t left? What if they’d made 2010 their year, would Sebastian Vettel be a four-time world champion?

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  8. BAR '018'

    Anyone remember BAR, the team that was basically built around J. Villeneuve? BAR bought Tyrrell in 1998 and then in 2005 sold the team to Honda, which then sold to Brawn and now Mercedes as we know it.

    What if they hadn’t sold? Would they be the force that Mercedes are today?

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