The chequered flag has fallen on another FIA Formula One World Championship season and Mark Webber’s victory in yesterday’s Brazilian Grand Prix marked the end of another remarkable premier league campaign for both British drivers and teams.
In total Formula One teams based in the UK won 17/18 of the 19 Grands Prix staged in 2011 with Red Bull Racing (Milton Keynes) winning the coveted Formula One World Championship Constructors title for the second year in succession. What’s more with both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton sharing six race victories for McLaren (Woking), Britain is also the only nation to boast two Grand Prix winning drivers during the 2011 championship. With the promising Paul di Resta finishing as the highest placed newcomer with Silverstone-based Force India, the year’s top F1 rookie was British, too.
“It’s been another incredible season for British teams and drivers at the highest level,” confirmed Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), governing body of UK motor sport. “These achievements underline the UK’s leading position in global motor sport and act as a tremendous incentive for the next generation of young drivers and engineers. We will continue to celebrate this country’s on-going international success and National Motorsport Week 2012 appropriately features two of Britain’s top motor sport attractions, commencing with the Goodwood Festival of Speed and concluding with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.”
National Motorsport Week (30 June-8 July 2012) is promoted jointly by the MSA and the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) to highlight the widespread accomplishments and significant benefits of the UK’s world-leading position in both the sport and its related industry.
“Once again ‘Motorsport Valley UK’ can enjoy a really positive end to the year and has every reason to be very proud of the success of ‘our’ F1 teams in 2011,” said Chris Aylett, MIA Chief Executive. “The DNA of the superb Red Bull (Milton Keynes), McLaren (Woking), Mercedes (Brackley) and Renault (Enstone) F1 programmes links into a network of many highly-skilled people working in the UK for these world-class teams, their engine builders and their vital supply chain. No matter which national anthem is played for the winner, there are many happy engineers in ‘Motorsport Valley’ sharing each success throughout this F1 season... and more young ones itching to get started, too!”
Underlining this country’s long-running success, the history books illustrate how British-based companies have totally dominated Formula One racing, clinching no fewer than 37 Formula One World Championship Constructors’ titles. Even the world famous Ferrari brand has only brought 16 titles to Italy.
The Constructors’ Championship was first awarded to Vanwall in 1958 and since then has been won by no fewer than ten more companies headquartered in this country: Benetton/Renault (1995, 2005, 2006), Brabham (1966, 1967), Brawn (2009), BRM (1962), Cooper (1959, 1960), Lotus (1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1978), McLaren (1974, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998), Red Bull Racing (2010, 2011), Tyrrell (1971) and Williams (1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997).
But, as Hilton pointed out, it’s not just in Formula One that Britain is leading the way. He added: “The top ten finishers on Wales Rally GB, the final round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship, were also all in cars designed, built and prepared in this country while there were two all-British crews in the top five finishers, too. With further success for Britain in racing and karting series around the world, this has been another outstanding year for the UK at the top level of global motor sport.”