Multi-season Wonders


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
It's new car unveiling time, with Ferrari first out of the blocks. With rules for 2011 being fairly consistent with 2010 it's likely most cars will be evolutions of last years cars but, as is the trend today, they will be classified as new cars and given a new number.

This got me thinking about cars which have lasted for a number of seasons through various specs. The four which spring to mind for me are:

Brabham BT49 - 1979 to 1982 through to D spec in '82 winning 7 races from 38 starts and a World Championship for Nelson PIquet in 1981.
Williams FW07 - 1979 to 1982 through to D spec in '82 winning 15 races from 43 starts and a World Championship for Alan jones in 1980.
Mclaren M23 - 1973 to 1977 through to E spec in '77 winning 16 races from 83 starts, winning World Championships for Fittipaldi in '74 and Hunt in '76

and, the daddy of them all, the Lotus 72 - 1970 to 1975 through to E spec in '75 winning 20 races from 75 starts, winning World Championships for Rindt in 1970 and Fittipladi in '72.

Anyone got any others? I can imagine there were a few in the 1950's and 60's but I'm afraid that pre-dates me.
That's possibly the most successful continually developed chassis over more than two years covered, but I think many if not most teams worked in this way didn't they? Along with the latest version usually arriving half way through the season, no? All before my time, but just looking at the McLaren series all the original M cars went through A, B, C etc versions and even once RD put the MP4 series before us they continued to work this way with the original MP4/1 reaching E-spec...

I wonder if the only thing to change in recent years is as you suggest, just the naming process, the cars receive new chassis names each year, but in consecutive years of similar rule sets it is entirely likely that actually the car is purely an evolution of last year (a 'B' or a 'C') and indeed you could likely, with the constant relentless updating, further define the versions (although previous configurations would probably be lost in the updates).

...Chassis 1-A-II, Chassis 1-C-VI etc.. or even Chassis 1-C-Monza and Chassis 1-C-Monaco, but they don't work like that :whistle: ramble ramble...

Just looking at Ferrari, they really don't fit the trend, it seems they have one of the most random chassis naming processes going!
Alfa 158 lasted from before the war until 1951.

Scratch that, just googled it. First raced in 1938, last raced in 1950. (1951 if you include the very similar 159, if you do it won 37 out of 41 races.)
I'll see your MP4/17 MCLS and raise you an MP4/1 (or MP4 as it was originally know, the /1 suffix didn't arrive until the C version) which raced from 1981 to 1983. And I'm lucky enough (and old enough) to have been at Silverstone in 1981 to see Wattie win the new Ron Dennis Mclaren team's first Grand Prix.

43 races, 6 wins and, a bit different to the others listed above, two different engines - Cosworth and TAG Porsche.
MCLS said:
What about Mclarens MP4-17, ran in both 2002 and 2003

That was an interesting case, wasn't it? The MP4-17 was hopeless in 2002, then they brought out the MP4-17D as a stop-gap and started winning things so they never bothered to develop the MP4-18. And still Kimi came 2 points from the crown.

It'd have probably done better than the hopeless MP4-19 as well!
The 2.5 litre era of F1 lasted from 1954-60, and there was a Maserati 250F on the grid for the first and last races of that period, and for almost all of the ones in between (as many as 10 examples present in certain races).
I'm gonna bend the rules and suggest when Ferrari ran their 2001 car for the first few races of 2002 and their 2002 car for the first few races of 2003
The RA106, ran for Honda in 2006 and Super Aguri in 2007 (irony being it was faster for super Aguri that season than Hondas RA107, which in turn Super Aguri in 2008 before they folded
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