F1 teams ranked so far: Mercedes get an F

F1 teams ranked so far: Mercedes get an F
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have had a season to forget so far - Getty Images/Qian Jun

With four races of the 2024 Formula One season done and dusted, it is a good time to look at how each team has been faring compared to how they finished last year.

I have ranked every team by their fastest lap time on average this season from slowest to fastest, though only Mercedes and Aston Martin are different to their championship positions.

I have also rated every team from A to F based on what they are getting from their potential. A grades mean getting the best with their resources and an F means failing dismally.

10. Alpine – I do not know how they get out of this mess

There is a belief in F1 that the sport is more about whether a driver or car can look after its tyres rather than the absolute pace of the machinery. Alpine’s plight has shown that if you do not have a decent car you cannot do anything with it.

The team, despite their significant resources, have not got themselves remotely in contention for a points finish in 2024. Their car is a bit heavier than the others but that does not account for the size of the gap. From testing in Bahrain, the car has looked nervous and inconsistent, with every corner a new experience for the drivers.

Last year they scored an average of five points per race. This year they will do well to score five points in total. They have restructured their team at the top but I do not know how they can get out of this mess in short order.

2023 points per race: 5.45
2024 points per race: 0
My rating: F

9. Sauber – Points look unlikely, even with a perfect race

The team that was Alfa Romeo and will become Audi in 2026 have stayed where they were in 2023, when they finished ninth. When Valtteri Bottas has a good weekend it is their best hope of scoring points but they have not come close to that in the first four rounds.

Their biggest issue is with their pit-stops with cross-threaded wheel nuts – and painfully long delays – a common occurrence. That does not help but their one-lap pace is hardly stellar. Even with a freak result and them executing their race perfectly, a top-10 finish looks, at best, unlikely.

2023 points per race: 0.72
2024 points per race: 0
My rating: F

8. Williams – Crash-prone team have gone backwards

After an encouraging 2023 when they finished seventh with 28 points, Williams have suffered a difficult start to the new season. Their relative lack of pace has been exacerbated by the numerous crashes their drivers are having. If you spend your resources on repairs and replacing parts then you cannot use it for development components to make the car quicker.

Last year Alexander Albon had several Q3 appearances and even when he was out in Q2 he still had the potential for a points finish, as he did so on seven occasions. They look much harder to come by this year.

2023 points per race: 1.27
2024 points per race: 0
My rating: E

7. Haas – A much-needed improvement on race day

Haas’s biggest problem last year was the enormous drop off from qualifying to races. Last year they occasionally popped up in Q3 but converted that into just 12 points and were last in the standings. This problem primarily stemmed from the 2023 car eating its tyres over a race distance.

They appear to have addressed this problem which has meant that Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg have been able to score three points finishes so far. Haas still need to address the ultimate issue of their overall pace as well as focusing on making their car quicker throughout the season.

2023 points per race: 0.54
2024 points per race: 1
My rating: D

6. RB – Can they keep this up?

After a poor start to 2023, RB – then AlphaTauri – finished the year strongly and have carried that over to the new season. Daniel Ricciardo’s performances are still baffling. For some reason he cannot get to grips with these current ground-effect cars.

Their current car, as you would expect, takes nods from their ‘sister’ car, the Red Bull. In Yuki Tsunoda’s hands it looks pretty handy over both one lap and a race distance. That has been proven by the Japanese driver’s seven points.

When Lance Stroll under-performs for Aston Martin or if there are retirements ahead, Tsunoda looks there to pounce. As ever, the crucial part will be whether they can keep that going.

2023 points per race: 1.13
2024 points per race: 1.75
My rating: D

5. Mercedes – Should be doing much, much better

Mercedes have more or less stood still from 2022 through 2023 to 2024. In absolute terms, they are where they were last year, around 0.8 per cent off the fastest car over a qualifying lap but in relative terms they have moved backwards. Ferrari and now McLaren are ahead of them which means their direct rivals are Aston Martin.

This is a team that should theoretically be winning but, despite 2023 being a bad year, they have made no real progress over the winter. They are up and down like a yo-yo. They tend to start the weekend well but do not make the progress that other teams do over the three days. It is still baffling.

2023 points per race: 18.59
2024 points per race: 8.5
My rating: F

4. Aston Martin – On the right path in 2024

To compare last year’s Aston Martin with this one is a difficult task. They began 2023 as the second fastest team with Fernando Alonso racking up the podiums but then came a mid-season glitch after adding upgrades.

This year they appear to have arrested that slide and are on the right trajectory but have slipped back to being the fourth or fifth fastest team. Podiums are a lot more unlikely in 2024 despite Alonso’s best efforts.

Last year they scored an average of 12.7 points per race to this year’s eight so far. Overall they have made progress but not as much as McLaren and Ferrari, which is shown in the results.

2023 points per race: 12.72
2024 points per race: 8.25
My rating: C

F1 teams ranked so far: Mercedes get an F
Fernando Alonso (left) and team mate Lance Stroll have been steady performers in the Aston Martin - AP/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

3. McLaren – A little disappointing but they should improve

McLaren have definitely improved and have started 2024 in a much better place than they were a year ago. Last season a mid-season upgrade helped them become Red Bull’s main challengers at times in the final half of the year. In 2023 they scored 14 points per race average and this year so far it is 17.

As far as overall pace is concerned they are challenging the top six most of the time. They might be a bit disappointed to be third rather than second fastest after their superb end to 2023. Still, they tend to start the season slowly and then improve quickly. I expect they have a plan for upgrades in the coming races. It is still a big step to Ferrari ahead.

2023 points per race: 13.72
2024 points per race: 17.25
My rating: C

2. Ferrari – A much better team all-round

Ferrari have arguably made the most progress of any team and are now Red Bull’s closest challengers, being the only team other than Red Bull to have won a race since the start of 2023. Last year they averaged 18 points per race and this year it is 30.

They are only slightly flattered by Max Verstappen’s DNF and Sergio Perez’s poor showing in Melbourne. Without that this would still be a clear improvement on last year. Last weekend showed how much their strategy, planning and execution of a race weekend has changed for the better.

For too long their decision-making was a chaotic “grande casino”, as the Italians call it. Frederic Vasseur has no doubt made a difference in the last two years, bringing a sense of calmness and keeping some of the top brass from interfering in what the racing team does.

2023 points per race: 18.45
2024 points per race: 30
My rating: B

1. Red Bull – They just keep getting better

There is no contest for who the best performing team is this year. Last year Red Bull dominated and this year they are on course to repeat that domination if not perhaps to quite the same scale, or as easily, though it is possible.

They have taken what was a very good car, and have visually changed it for this year, coming out with an equally good car, if not better. When a team is at the top and dominating you always wonder whether they can continue to progress. Red Bull have shown that they can. They understand the current regulations better than any other team.

It could become a little harder this year as Ferrari and McLaren improve, especially over one lap. But, really, Red Bull and Verstappen look to have enough in their pocket when they need it. Last year they scored an average of 39 per race weekend and this weekend, even with Verstappen’s DNF in Australia, it is 35. When it comes to reliability, operational function and strategy they are the best team too.

2023 points per race: 39.09
2024 points per race: 35.25
My rating: A, in Verstappen’s hands an A++

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