Interestingly, these three franchises are the ones that are on top of things now, but you could hardly credit Jaguar for doing that
Let's see how all these teams have evolved (with the drivers picked to start the seasons/driving the majority of them mentioned):
Ferrari were expected to go and win the 2000 WDC which Schumacher duly did. Having come off a 1999 WCC-winning campaign the team looked well-oiled strategy wise and performed great at the pit stops. They also had a driver aged 31 performing at his very peak.
Titles (WDC): 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007
2nd (WDC): 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
3rd (WDC): 2001, 2005, 2008
Titles (WCC): 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
2nd (WCC): 2006
3rd (WCC): 2005, 2010, 2011
Position today relative to end of 1999: Essentially the same. Some flaws but a star drivers rescues the team on a regular basis, fighting for championships against the odds. Very good continuity on the driver side and now Ferrari have a driver in his early 30s perfoming at his peak.
Verdict: A little worse off, but still looking good.
McLaren had won the 1998 and 1999 drivers' crowns thanks to Mika Häkkinen's ability and Adrian Newey's genius (yep you read it). For 2000 the only acceptable target was a hat trick, and Mika fought hard but stumbled due to an engine failure in the USA in late September. Coulthard also did a good job, recording several wins, enjoying his best F1 season, after surviving a horrific plane crash.
WDC titles: 2008
WDC 2nd's: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011
WDC 3rd's: 2000, 2007
WCC 2nd's: 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011
WCC 3rd's: 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009
Position today: Worse off. Being held ransom in contract talks with Hamilton and having failed to win the WCC since 1998 speaks volumes. Also no longer a factory team, since Mercedes left. Still a team that has championships in them, but this century it hasn't worked out very well. The only sustained titles charges were when Ferrari arguably had a weaker line-up of Räikkönen and Massa than what teams with the fastest car normally have.
Verdict: A good team, albeit with ground to make up to challenge for titles again.
Jordan were going for broke to win more Grands Prix in 2000. After Frentzen had guided them to a couple of wins and a 3rd in the 1999 WDC, they were confident to bang on the drum that they were now a top team. Damon Hill's presence had increased revenue and due to that legacy, they had managed to tie down Frentzen to a big three-year contract, fending off interest from Jaguar. New boy Jarno Trulli was hailed as an incredibly exciting signing. In the end their 2000 season was a disappointment.
2006 Monteiro/Albers (as Midland)
2007 Sutil/Albers (as Spyker)
2008 Sutil/Fisichella (as Force India)
2011 Sutil/Di Resta
2012 Di Resta/Hülkenberg
Position today: Ownership as Force India by Mallya has been stable for some years by now. The team can be under no illusions about challenging for the WDC like in 1999 with Jordan and has a commercially weaker base. Wise driver selection and a solid aero department helps the team being competitive in the ultra-tight midfield. Can rattle the big boys having off-days.
Verdict: Worse off, but they did survive.
Jaguar had just bought off Jackie Stewart and inherited a team that had finished 4th in the 1999 WCC against the odds. Star driver Barrichello had been replaced by WDC bridesmaid Eddie Irvine, who became one of Ford's best-paid employees. Ultimately the technical department was in a shambles and the season was a disaster. A 2001 attempt to hire Newey had to wait a few years and it was only then under Red Bull ownership the team turned into the powerhouse they are today.
2001 Irvine/de la Rosa
2002 Irvine/de la Rosa
2005 Coulthard/Klien (as Red Bull)
WDC's: 2010, 2011
WDC 2nd's: 2009
WDC 3rd's: 2010, 2011
WCC's: 2010, 2011
WCC 2nd's: 2009
Position today: Red Bull is a huge powerhouse that has risen to dominate F1 car technology. The promotion of Sebastian Vettel and the 2009 clean slate in regulations saw Red Bull emerge as a top team and they show no sign of backing off just yet.
Verdict: Quite a bit better, but they still went into the 2000 season as Jaguar being considered as top four. They weren't.
Williams came from a dominant era turned sour when Renault stopped delivering factory engines and failing to get on top of the grooved tyres as well. Having agreed a long-term deal with BMW, it looked set to be a trying year as they were under no illusions about immediate victories. Ralf Schumacher had just signed a monstrous contract with the team, whilst rookie Jenson Button took to the scene, being a choice that shocked the entire industry. That was after Olivier Panis had honoured his agreement to join McLaren as 3rd driver. Juan Pablo Montoya was loaned out to Ganassi for another year.
WDC 3rd: 2002, 2003
WCC 2nd: 2002, 2003
WCC 3rd: 2000, 2001
Today: Williams have had several famous relatives of World Champions drive for them, but show no sign of returning to the glory days of yesterday. No Hill/Villeneuve effect here... In spite of Williams being unable to head hunt drivers for talent only, the resource increase thanks to PDVSA's sponsorship of Maldonado has helped the team become quick again and even won a race this season, only to have a pitlane fire afterwards.
Verdict: Being one of only three teams to survive with the same ownership and name since 2000, Williams are no longer the powerhouse they were. Red Bull now have the Newey they had in the 1990's and their finances mean they have to rely on pay drivers. Maldonado is very fast considering this tag, but Williams are nowhere near the commercial position they still had in 2000.
Benetton had suffered a decline in epic proportions of the performances of the sky blue cars in the late 90's. The Schumacher era was well and truly gone, but thanks to Renault's purchase of the team, the return of Flavio Briatore and the presence of perceived star Fisichella optimism remained. It was during this time Alonso got tied to the team. Shrewd move. The Schumacher era's reprisal was a few years forward, but it did eventually happen. The 2000 season was a hard slog, but Fisichella shone to take three early podiums, then couldn't even get a point in the second half of the season. Development of the car was in tatters for the 3rd year running. Fisichella therefore missed out on what had seemed to be a likely top 5 WDC position.
2002 Button/Trulli (as Renault)
2012 Räikkönen/Grosjean (as Lotus)
WDC: 2005, 2006
WCC: 2005, 2006
WCC 3rd's: 2004, 2007
Today: Lotus have enjoyed a recent upturn in performances. Alonso's championship glories are distant memories in the horizon, but the current car appears to be in such a shape that a Grand Prix victory is certainly within grasp if the team manage to extract the its (the car) full potential. The finances are good enough to pay Kimi Räikkönen's salary at least, but beating Ferrari and McLaren in this year's WCC would still be seen as a huge surprise.
Verdict: The team are in a much stronger position these days than 12 years ago. But it's been a severe peak-and-valley journey. Talent spotting Alonso certainly led to those highs. He is not coming back, so they need someone to take that baton in the future.
Sauber had snapped up Mika Salo following his stunning performances with Ferrari at the high-speed circuits, whilst substituting for Schumacher. Without Salo, Ferrari wouldn't have won the WCC that year, but his performances for Sauber weren't good enough for Peter Sauber, who replaced him with a certain young Finn named Kimi one year afterwards. With Diniz not doing well either, Sauber adopted a new philosophy to nurture young talent, something they do even today post-BMW ownership.
2006 Heidfeld/Villeneuve (as BMW Sauber)
2010 Kobayashi/de la Rosa (as Sauber)
WCC 2nd: 2007
WCC 3rd: 2008
Today Sauber are a solid midfield outfit much like the old days, but this time much closer to the front, and can therefore upset the applecart somewhat and deliver podiums. They are nowhere near Kubica's long shot at the 2008 championship under BMW ownership, but can still do a good enough job that an established top driver would help them challenge for race wins even under normal conditions at certain tracks.
Verdict: Future ownership is a bit of a question mark, they have no sugar daddy and Kaltenborn is surely no billionare in her own right? But yeah they are doing much better than in 2000, running closer to the front. Championship positions may look similar, though.
Minardi had done a giant-killing 1999 season, fending off BAR to take the 10th place in the WCC and gaining the FOM money. The fact they managed to beat Prost in the 2000 season helped the team survived a troubled winter that followed, as team owner Gabriele Rumi sold the ship to Paul Stoddart before passing away.
2006 Liuzzi/Speed (as Toro Rosso)
Today Toro Rosso, owned by Red Bull, are a serious Formula 1 team that can collect points without half the field falling off. That and the financial security has certainly helped the team lately to get a reputation as a solid force. Unfortunately for them the driver policy is 100 % dictated by Helmut Marko, who really should know better than firing drivers mid-season if they aren't like Vettel. Post-Vettel the drivers coming through have been deemed not good enough for RBR as Webber continues to do well there. Instead of having patience with someone like Alguersuari, Marko wrestles in a new guy without enough experience and with so little testing, Toro Rosso can't therefore really challenge the top 8 as often as they'd liked. The organisation has seen great champions like Alonso and Vettel passing through, so F1 is better off with them.
Verdict Like night and day. Toro Rosso is a serious team capable of doing things now. Won a Grand Prix back in 2008 too.
BAR had had a nightmare 1999 season, in which much-lauded 1997 WDC Jacques Villeneuve didn't even pick up a single point! In the year 2000 it went much better, but the first podium was still elusive, whilst Villeneuve himself was tracked by McLaren and Benetton for moves there. A factory engine deal with Honda proved that British American Tobacco meant business, though.
2006 Button/Barrichello (as Honda)
2009 Button/Barrichello (as Brawn)
2010 Rosberg/Schumacher (as Mercedes)
WDC 3rd: 2004, 2009
WCC 2nd: 2004
Today, Mercedes has arrived as the prime owner since a few years back. Jenson Button had been the star driver for many seasons and won a championship for Brawn in 2009. That magic has yet to rub off on the silver cars, but at least Nico Rosberg managed to win the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, and important occasion for Norbert Haug and the ownership. Schumacher and Brawn haven't been able to reach their previous heights, though.
Verdict: Being a firm factory team and challenging for Grand Prix wins means that the team is in a better position these days.
I firmly hope you enjoyed the read, it was a bit of a cool idea I got to summarize how the franchises have lived on under different names, but all recognizable. Prost and Arrows are no longer with us that took part in the 2000 season, Toyota came and went, whilst Caterham, Marussia and HRT are new franchises that all have changed their names since they entered two years ago.
Much appreciated if you liked it
Edited by jeze, 10 July 2012 - 17:09.