Williams failed to score a solitary point in 2020 – becoming the first constructor to end a year point-less in half a decade. But they are far from the only team on the current grid end on nil points. As Williams aims to improve in 2021 MotorsportWeek.com takes a look at the last time the other teams failed to score – and how they fared the following year.
Alfa Romeo (as Sauber)
2014 – No points | 2015 – 36 points, 8th
Sauber had built its reputation as a plucky midfield outfit, developing young drivers, but by 2014 it was in a difficult situation. Its financial woes inhibited its potential while its overweight and cumbersome C33 was hampered by a woefully sub-par Ferrari power unit. Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez failed to break into the top 10 and consequently Sauber failed to score for the first time in history – placing even lower than Marussia. It entered 2015 with a revised line-up of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson and stunned in Australia by scoring 14 points, including fifth courtesy of Nasr, to end its long drought. Sauber went on to finish eighth in the championship on 36 points in 2015.
Mercedes (as BAR)
1999 – No points | 2000 – 20 points, 5th
Mercedes has swept to title after title in the hybrid era but as the new millennium approached the operation, as it was back then, failed to even score a point. In 1997 British American Tobacco acquired the ailing Tyrrell squad and for 1999 it rebranded as BAR, recruited Jacques Villeneuve – still the reigning champion – and outlined bold ambitions. However, while the BAR001 showed glimpses of pace, it was dreadfully unreliable, and neither Villeneuve nor Ricardo Zonta finished a race in the top six. Matters improved immediately in 2000 as Villeneuve and Zonta both scored in the season opener and BAR, having switched from Supertec to Honda, racked up 20 points to finish fifth in the standings.
Aston Martin (as Force India)
2008 – No points | 2009 – 13 points, 9th
Formula 1 is about to welcome Aston Martin back to the fold but the Silverstone-based team has had various guises in its 30-year history. After the end of its Jordan era, and middling spells as Midland and Spyker, the Vijay Mallya Force India phase began in 2008 – albeit slowly. Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil couldn’t get into the top eight and thus finished on zero points. The early stages of 2009 suggested Force India had made gains but points remained elusive. That was until the VJM02 shocked the paddock with its speed at Spa and Monza. Fisichella claimed a stunning pole, and backed it up with a podium, at Spa, with Sutil taking fourth a week later. It was enough for Force India to finish ninth overall, on 13 points.
AlphaTauri (as Minardi)
2003 – No points | 2004 – 1 point, 10th
‘Team Faenza’ is a slight anomaly on this list. Other teams have had slumps, but during its days as Minardi it became renowned as a well-loved backmarker for whom merely scraping a point marked a successful season. Consequently it failed to score a point in 10 of its 21 seasons in Formula 1. The last of those years was in 2003, when Jos Verstappen, Justin Wilson and Nicolas Kiesa were left out of the top eight. In 2004 Zsolt Baumgartner – Hungary’s only ever Formula 1 driver – finished eighth at Indianapolis to give Minardi its sole point of the campaign. The doldrums lasted only one more season as Red Bull swept in and renamed it Toro Rosso for 2006, gradually emerging as a credible midfield challenger.
2007 – No points | 2008 – 151 points, 2nd
The only team on the grid whose zero score cannot be attributed to lacklustre machinery. McLaren should have won the Constructors’ Championship in 2007 with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton – but its prospects unravelled. In Hungary it had already been prohibited from scoring owing to the qualifying saga that resulted in Hamilton missing the final Q3 runs. That became irrelevant when the full case from the Spygate scandal was revealed, with McLaren docked of all their points, excluded from the Constructors’ Championship, and fined $100m. McLaren ‘scored’ 218 points but instead had a big fat zero next to its name. McLaren was allowed to continue racing, and went on to finish second in the 2008 standings, amassing 151 points.
Alpine (as Toleman/Benetton)
1985 – No points | 1986 – 19 points, 6th
Toleman had a troublesome 1985 season – and didn’t even compete in the opening trio of events owing to a tyre contractual saga. Rain at the Nurburgring facilitated a shock pole for sole entry Teo Fabi but he failed to finish, which was little surprise, given that the unreliable TG185 made it to the flag just twice. Toleman fielded another car for Piercarlo Ghinzani during the closing events but no points were forthcoming. Benetton acquired Toleman in late 1985 and for 1986 the team was rebranded. Benetton’s B186 was substantially more competitive, aided by the upgrade from Hart to BMW power, with Fabi taking two poles, and new recruit Gerhard Berger claiming a win in Mexico.