Formula 1

Red Bull’s 100th F1 win: The exclusive club it joins

by Matt Beer
4 min read

Red Bull has joined the very exclusive club of teams with 100 Formula 1 grand prix victories to their names, thanks to Max Verstappen’s 2023 Canadian GP win.

It’s only the fifth team to hit the 100 win mark. Here is how that milestone was reached on the previous four occasions.

FERRARI

Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos (bra) 23 25 03 1990

How: Alain Prost’s 1990 Brazilian Grand Prix win

Prost’s first victory for Ferrari in his second race with the team was achieved with typically measured Prost progress from sixth on the grid to second, which became first when Ayrton Senna broke his McLaren’s front wing on backmarker Satoru Nakajima’s Lotus.

What happened next: Prost led Ferrari’s most concerted title bid since 1982 that season but it ended in that infamous collision with Senna at the Japanese GP start.

Prost’s frustration with Ferrari management and outgoing team-mate Nigel Mansell was already high by that point, and things got much worse during a fractious 1991 season that Prost didn’t even get to the end of before being sacked.

Ferrari then spent a few years getting ever less competitive before new team boss Jean Todt got its house in order and made it at least an occasional winner across 1994 and 1995. The arrival of Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne from Benetton then made it a proper championship contender again and eventually utterly dominant for half a decade.

McLAREN

Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos (bra) 26 28 03 1993

How: Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix win

Senna’s final Brazilian GP victory was an against-the-odds triumph in which mid-race rain allowed him to take control (despite an early penalty for passing under a yellow flag) from the dominant Williams, helped by Prost staying out on slicks in the rain and spinning into Christian Fittipaldi’s already-crashed Minardi.

What happened next: McLaren was already on the way down from its late 1980s/early 1990s heights by the time of win no.100. A frustrated Senna was desperately doing his utmost to try to beat the technologically superior Williams but so unhappy with the situation – and particularly McLaren being stuck with customer Ford engines after Honda’s exit – that he was only willing to compete on a race-by-race deal.

His heroics meant McLaren still won five times in 1993 before his exit for his own tragically brief time at William. McLaren then had a fiery (literally) and unsuccessful Peugeot-powered 1994 prior to hooking up with Mercedes to start its path back to winning races again in 1997 and clinching the subsequent two titles with Mika Hakkinen.

WILLIAMS

Act

How: Jacques Villeneuve’s 1997 British Grand Prix win

A stuck wheelnut at a pitstop dropped Villeneuve from an early lead to seventh at Silverstone, but he fought back to be in a position to benefit when first title rival Schumacher’s Ferrari had a wheel bearing failure then Hakkinen’s McLaren-Mercedes suffered engine failure when six laps away from what would’ve been his first F1 win.

What happened next: Villeneuve prevailed over Schumacher in a title fight settled by the Schumacher-triggered collision at Jerez, and duly became Williams’s last world champion driver.

Engine supplier Renault’s official exit at the end of the year meant two seasons struggling with old Renault V10s under different badging before new partner BMW arrived. That made Williams a race winner again across 2001-04 but its only victory since then is Pastor Maldonado’s Spain 2012 anomaly.

MERCEDES

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Mexican Grand Prix Race Day Mexico City, Mexico

How: Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 Mexican Grand Prix win

This one’s slightly debatable in timing terms, though the fact Mercedes is now well past 100 F1 wins is not.

Officially the current works team and the 1950s Mercedes F1 squad’s statistics are combined, meaning win 100 was Hamilton’s comeback victory in the 2019 Mexican GP when he recovered from banging wheels with Verstappen at the start and dropping to 10th to beat the Ferraris to victory despite carrying floor damage. Take out the nine 1954/55 wins and ‘Brackley Mercedes’ got its 100th win at Mugello in 2020, also with Hamilton.

What happened next: Whereas Ferrari, McLaren and Williams’s 100th wins were all followed by victory droughts that began just a few months later, the Mercedes steamroller ploughed on through 2020 as well before Verstappen and Red Bull interrupted it in the epic 2021 battle.

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