Top 5 drivers who raced for the wrong teams

  1. Fernando Alonso

Fernando has spent the last ten years in pursuit of an elusive third title, but so far this search has proved to be futile. His move to McLaren in 2007 was followed by an internal feud which prevented him from winning the title by a single point, while also forcing him to return to Renault after just one season at the Woking-based squad. A decision to join Ferrari in 2010 also failed to yield the desired results: the Spaniard spent five years with the Italian outfit, coming tantalisingly close to winning the title at two occasions. Given the frustration, he re-joined McLaren in 2015, only to find the team linger at the rear of the pack with an under-powered and unreliable Honda engine.

  1. Martin Brundle

It’s almost baffling to believe that Martin never won a Grand Prix, having achieved so much success in Formula 3 and World Sportscar Championship. But a combination of bad luck and poor team choices meant that the top spot on the podium remained a dream for the Brit. After switching a number of teams, Brundle finally found a podium-worthy car in the form of Benetton in 1992. And despite challenging emerging star Michael Schumacher and making five rostrum appearances, Brundle was dropped for the following season. After a low-key year with Ligier, Brundle hoped to put his past behind by joining McLaren for the 1994 season. However, instead of challenging for race wins and championships, he was plagued by an unreliable Peugeot engine, retiring from more than half the races.

  1. Emerson Fittipaldi

After two highly successful seasons at McLaren which included winning his second world title, Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi made a shock move when he decided to join his brother’s Formula 1 team in 1986. The eponymous start-up turned out to be a major failure and Fittipaldi even failed to qualify at the Belgian Grand Prix. Despite the lack of results, he remained faithful to the team, spending five seasons with them before hanging his helmet in 1980. During this tenure, he failed to win a single race, with two podium finishes being his only solace.

  1. Mark Webber

After a brief (and eventual) foray in sportscar racing, Mark Webber moved to Formula 1 in 2002, joining backmarkers Minardi. While the car was a handful to drive, Webber made a positive first impression by scoring points on his debut in Australia. After spending two years with a struggling Jaguar squad, Webber faced a potentially career-defining choice ahead of the 2005 season. Both Renault, for whom he served as a test driver back in 2001, and Williams, were interested in hiring his services. The Australian chose Williams due to its rich history, but the British team failed to live up to its reputation, entering a period of downturn. Renault, meanwhile, went on to clinch successive titles in 2005 and 2006, making Webber eventually regret his decision.

  1. Jean Alesi

After two promising years with Tyrrell in late 1980s, Frenchman Jean Alesi signed up for Williams for the 1991 season, only to terminate his contract and drive for Ferrari instead. While any driver would be lured by a job offer from Ferrari, the timing of the decision backfired. Ferrari were no longer in a position to challenge McLaren for the title, while Williams’ resurgence culminated in three successive constructors titles between 1992 and 1994. Had Alesi honoured his original contract, he would have had championship-winning machinery under his belt for multiple years. However, the presence of highly-qualified teammates like Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna would have tested his driving ability to the absolute best.

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