When the race statistics advance, the Maserati 250F is barely impressive; only eight Grand Prix wins and one single driver title between 1954 and 1959.
Aside from the constructor championship not created until 1958, lack of results is no different from the 250F reputation as one of the best and most elegant F1 cars ever built.
After running before and after World War II, Italian companies produced 250F to meet changes to the 2.5-liter engine in Formula 1 for 1954.
Since it first appeared, Maserati is satisfied with the ideals of what a Grand Prix car is; pure from the line, a long, soft curved body with a low muzzle finished in rich red, the color of Italian national racing.
Not only is the 250F aesthetic satisfying, it's also fun to drive. A balanced chassis allows the driver to use the throttle as a tool to move the 250F through the corner with a beautiful hanging tail.
The Argentine maestro, Juan Manuel Fangio, used the 250F to show his thrilling skills as he easily won the 1957 world championship.
Examples of survivors change hands at auction for seven numbers; indication of the most iconic F1 car of all time.
Colin Chapman, boss of Lotus and engineering genius, revolutionized the construction of racing cars by designing a monocoque chassis.
The shape of a pressure-filled aluminum bathtub is three times harder and half the weight of the popular structure of a weld tube forms what is called a space frame.
Introduced in mid-1962, Lotus 25 was immediately competitive and would win the championship but for engine failure in the final race.
Coupled with Jim Clark's brilliance, however, Lotus 25 really dominated the 1963 championship with seven wins.
Monocoque construction will become the standard for F1 design, eventually spreading to every racing formula.
Clark will also win the world title in 1964 but for engine failure on the last lap of the last race – the concept development, Lotus 33, easily brought Clark to his second championship the following year.
A major change in the formula for 1966 gave Chapman the opportunity to advance his mind with Lotus 49 by attaching the machine directly to monocoque (as opposed to supporting it in a separate frame).
49 went on to win the championship with Graham Hill in 1968 (the year Clark was killed in the Formula 2 race).
The Brabham BT20 (and its predecessor BT19) is unusual among F1 engineering icons because of its relative simplicity.
After winning the world championship driving for Cooper in 1959 and 1960, Jack Braham decided to run a team and build his own grand prix car.
Brabham had moderate success in 1964 and 1965 but changes to the engine formula for 1966 provided a perfect opportunity for smart and pragmatic Australians.
While large manufacturers such as Ferrari and BRM chose to build complex engines specifically for the new 3-liter formula, Brabham found that known and uncomplicated power units would bring immediate results while competitors found their feet.
As such, he brought American Oldsmobile V8 to Repco and had an Australian engineering firm developing what had become a production unit. It may not be as strong as the others, but it can be relied on.
Initially using BT19 (almost identical to BT20), Brabham won four grand prix to take his third title and became the first – and most likely – the only person to win the championship in a car carrying his own name.
Brabham's clever strategy continued when Brabham-Repco BT24 from his team-mate, Denny Hulme, was good enough to win the 1967 world championship.
The basic profile of the F1 car was changed forever in 1970 when Chapman produced Lotus 72.
The most striking change involves the radiator mounted on the side, so that it forms a wedge, starting with a wide chisel nose. This optimizes the car's aerodynamics; new rich territory for F1 designers.
Unsatisfactory handling delayed the debut and encouraged a large redesign of the suspension. Evidence that the drug was discovered came when Jochen Rindt won the first grand prix in the Netherlands.
Victory in three races again put Rindt on the line for the championship but Austria was killed when the brake rods snapped and sent Lotus to the collision barrier during training for the Italian Grand Prix.
Rindt will be the first posthumous world champion in the sport. The development of Lotus 72 proved unsuccessful in 1971 but further iterations brought Emerson Fittipaldi his first world title the following year.
Such is the fundamental sophistication of the car that continues to make sure Lotus wins the constructor championship in 1973, the title of the driver compromised by championship points divided between Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson.
Remarkably, Lotus 72 continued to be driven by the work team and privateers to 1975, five years after its conception.
Reacting to the new rules in 1973 that demanded F1 cars to have a side impact structure, McLaren chose to fully integrate this into the design rather than following the popular trend of adding anti-lacing pads to the sides.
The resulting McLaren M23 has strength, simplicity and integrity throughout the design of the wedge shape, although dental problems will affect the initial race.
Three wins were not suitable for Tyrrell and Lotus in 1973 but the merging of lessons learned brought the title of driver (Emerson Fittipaldi) and constructor with four wins the following year.
The M23 was substantially unchanged for 1975 when consistent results and three wins were not enough to beat a faster Ferrari.
McLaren continued to have confidence in design, reduced its weight and revised the suspension along with small but significant changes in readiness for 1976.
Fittipaldi's departure at the eleventh hour left a gap for James Hunt, the Englishman who seized his opportunity with a well-developed car.
Overcoming the initial technical error, McLaren won six races during the epic season rather than running into the cable, Hunt took on the title with one point from Ferrari's Niki Lauda.
The M23 has been developed through five specifications to ensure frontline competitiveness in four seasons, making it one of the most successful F1 cars.
Christened "Black Beauty" because of its elegant lines and black and gold, Lotus F1 redefines the design and performance of F1 cars. That's arguably the best of many Chapman geniuses.
Looking for other benefits that have not been explored, the Lotus head applies its fertile mind to utilize the air through and under the car.
The initial concept was developed throughout 1977 with the Lotus 78, a unique feature that became an inverted wing hidden at the sidepoda which helped to suck the car to the ground.
Lotus won five grand prixes that year and will be in the championship count but for a number of failures especially those related to the engine.
The development was aided by a rare driver / engineer empathy between Chapman and Mario Andretti (similar to Clark's relationship).
The product of their work is Lotus 79, a car that will improve what is called the land effect phenomenon when it first appeared in 1978.
Supported by Ronnie Peterson, Andretti became world champion, Lotus dominated the season with eight wins to run with the constructors championship.
It became the peak of Chapman's ambitions – and the beginning of the terminal decline in Lotus as the next car, 80, was a total failure.
McLaren MP4 / 1
In September 1980, the McLaren team that was sick was reformed to become McLaren International.
Technical director John Barnard, always looking for new directions, is to make one of the biggest breakthroughs in F1 design when he leaves the traditional aluminum chassis now that supports one made of carbon fiber formed.
It's complex, but it's very strong and lightweight – two overall overarching goals in racing car design. Barnard also introduced a level of precision and perfection that until now had not been seen in racing car construction.
McLaren MP4 / 1 debuted in 1981, John Watson won the British Grand Prix in the same year.
Watson and Niki Lauda used the latest version to win the grand prix in 1982 and 1983 but the competitiveness of the team was increasingly limited by the lack of turbocharged engines that matched those used by the competition.
Improving the development of the same carbon fiber, Barnard produced MP4 / 2 to receive a bespoke TAG-Porsche turbo V6.
This car dominated 1984 with Lauda winning the driver title with half a point from teammate Alain Prost in 1984, before Prost took the turn the following year.
Barnard moved to Ferrari but left a strong legacy that will help McLaren to continue the championship with MP4 / 4.
Continuing his search for substantial innovation after his move to Ferrari, Barnard thought long and hard about how to remove the large manual transmission lever and the rod running through the right side of the cockpit into the gearbox mounted on the rear.
The idea of using a semi-automatic transmission was initially related to the push-button button selector on the steering wheel, Barnard finally settled for the paddle behind the wheel to work together with the hydraulically operated clutch.
The associated reduction in the cockpit dimension allows a narrow chassis, sharp, slim nose and wide sidepod to place the radiator and maximize aerodynamic efficiency.
At first, the striking appearance of the red car was not matched by reliability, persistent problems with the gearbox delayed the first race until early 1989 than, as originally planned, during the previous season.
The Ferrari 640 (also known as F1-89) is fast but no one is expected to finish, at least Nigel Mansell when he took the V12-powered car for an extraordinary victory on his debut in Brazil.
Failure to complete another race until mid-season eliminated championship opportunities, but Barnard's innovation will change the design of F1 transmission forever.
Williams has worked for some time in various ways to develop F1 cars; semi-automatic gearbox, traction control and active suspension.
They all came together in 1992 with Williams FW14B, one of the most successful and arguably most sophisticated F1 cars of all time before regulatory controls prohibited most of the complex systems involved.
The gearbox was unreliable in 1991 but, after being sorted, the driver can change gears four or five times faster without the risk of over-revving the engine.
Gradually working on active suspension – consistently controlling the height of the car at an efficient level – achieving results by switching from mechanics to more effective electronic controls, coupled with enhanced traction control.
All programs are overseen by technical director Patrick Head, who gives high appreciation for Adrian Newey's work because the designer packages several components into workable and aerodynamically efficient forms, coupled with a strong and powerful Renault V10 engine.
Mansell ended the five-race driver's championship before the end of the season thanks to nine wins, Ricciardo Patrese's victory in Japan and second place helped Williams destroy opponents in the constructors' championship.
Every major change in technical rules is an opportunity. Nothing has been greater in recent times compared to switching from a power unit that is usually sucked into a turbocharged hybrid for 2014.
Mercedes is better prepared than most for major changes in F1 thinking.
In general, in the past a team will receive a completed power plant from the manufacturer (maybe from their own company), install it in the chassis and go race.
Mercedes saw the need for detailed integration of both, the entire package was made to deal with the complex requirements related to energy recovery and its applications.
The program and detailed planning are assisted by a racing team that is 45 minutes from the Mercedes High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, Northamptonshire.
And the last key factor was Lewis Hamilton's bold decision to leave McLaren and harmonize his future with Mercedes.
Six consecutive wins (four for Hamilton and two for Nico Rosberg) at the start of the season set a standard that will continue, not only until 2014, but for five years because the Mercedes W05 template forms the basis for one of the most dominant series of cars in F1 history.