The Formula 1 season heads to Silverstone on Sunday as Ferrari plot their response to Red Bull’s recent dominance ahead of the British Grand Prix.
The event often captures the attention of a broader audience, as purists and casuals unite to watch 20 cars across 52 laps at the home of British motorsport.
So how best to describe the nature of the teams in F1 — their pasts, their presents, their possible futures — to fans who don’t necessarily sit down and watch every session of the 23-race season? We decided to match every Formula 1 team to their Premier League equivalent ahead of Sunday’s race.
Which F1 team has lost its way like Manchester United? Who is back in the mix for titles after years of aimless wandering like Liverpool? Below, we pick out a top flight club for all 10 F1 teams.
Red Bull x Man City
New boys on the block turned runaway leaders. These two teams might have little in the way of history, but both transitioned from also-rans to title contenders in the late noughties.
Aerodynamicist extraordinaire Adrian Newey is Red Bull’s answer to Pep Guardiola — the mastermind behind some of the most successful teams in history.
While City celebrated their sixth Premier League title in 2022, Max Verstappen looks well on course to make it six drivers’ titles for the Bulls before the year’s out.
They’ve got Ferrari nibbling at their heels in much the same way Liverpool make things difficult for Guardiola’s men, but when all is said and done the cream will almost certainly rise to the top.
Ferrari x Liverpool
The similarities here are stark. Both Liverpool and Ferrari seem to have it all. They look classy, they’re steeped in history, their fans are passionate and they’ve got it together after a spell in the wilderness.
That said, they have a mammoth thorn in their side in the shape of Manchester City/Red Bull (delete as appropriate).
Yes, they both look like title material, they compete like champions-elect and in any other era the current package would be enough for a spell of sustained dominance.
The thing is, you can’t afford reliability issues when you’re up against a winning machine. Both must become more ruthless.
Mercedes x Chelsea
Years of dominance after a major cash injection, things aren’t quite as rosy as they once were. Much like Chelsea, Mercedes are now in an awkward no man’s land somewhere between the top two teams and the rest of the pack.
There are signs that both can claw back the ground and haul themselves into the title picture, but the cost cap is to Mercedes what the Todd Boehly era is to Chelsea. Essentially, there’s less money to throw around.
Before Boehly won the race to take over Chelsea earlier this year, Mercedes superstar Lewis Hamilton even pledged funds to a rival bid for the club.
McLaren x Man Utd
These guys ran the show at the turn of the millennium and were still winning titles until about a decade ago, but things have gone a bit pear-shaped since.
In recent years, finishing in ‘the top four’ has come to represent success for these once great teams, with fans clinging to the faintest glimmer that better times will return.
For McLaren, steady progress has been made and there was genuine hope that they could propel themselves back to the top as a new era dawned in 2022, with their young star Lando Norris tied down for the long term. The early signs haven’t necessarily been encouraging.
Will the same be true of Manchester United as they prepare for a fresh chapter with Erik ten Hag ‘at the wheel’?
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Aston Martin x Newcastle
They’re throwing heaps of money at it in a bid to emerge from the middle of the pack and upset the established order at the top. Sound familiar, Newcastle fans?
Well, things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Aston Martin F1. They’ve made the big-name signing in four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel but only have one podium to show for their 18 months in Formula 1.
There’s no doubting both Aston Martin and Newcastle have the backing to mix it with the big guns. It just all hinges on how long it will take.
Think the parallels stop there? Saudi state-owned oil and gas company Aramco has an option to own a 10 per cent stake in Aston Martin Formula 1. They’ll start painting the car in Saudi national colours soon. Oh wait.
Alpine x Arsenal
Neither have won the title in 15-plus years and the road back to the top continues to be a long, meandering one with road bumps aplenty.
Over time, the Gunners have hired a number of their Invincibles to various non-playing roles in a bid to return to the summit, while Alpine have put their two-time world champion Fernando Alonso back in the cockpit.
Arsenal now have their own Spaniard ‘back home’ leading the charge, with Mikel Arteta aiming to strike a balance between youth and experience in much the same way Alpine do.
There are signs of progress for both. Consistency is now key.
Williams x Everton
Everyone is pining for a return to the success of the 1980s, when these iconic teams were the dominant forces in their respective sports.
They now haven’t won anything since the mid-90s and, in fact, have both been mixing it at the bottom of the pack in recent times.
Much like Everton, Williams are used to seeing plenty of blue flags waved when they’re competing.
And if you can’t quite cut it at a big team, there’s every chance Everton will give you a chance to rebuild your career in the same way Williams gave Alex Albon a leg up after a miserable stint at Red Bull.
Alfa Romeo x Brentford
They might not be the best around, but they’re a stylish bunch who will comfortably finish in the middle of the pack.
Neither will deliver consistently great results, but they’re everyone’s favourite dark horses who are capable of throwing a spanner in the works at the top every now and then.
Decked out in red and white, both have seen an uptick in results since picking up an unattached northern European in 2022.
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Haas x Brighton
Brighton’s promotion to the Premier League almost coincided with the arrival of Haas in Formula 1 and it’s hardly been rainbows and butterflies since.
Haas haven’t finished higher than ninth in the last three years, while Brighton had only ever finished in the bottom six before last season they finally started to look like rock stars (as Guenther Steiner would put it).
And perhaps Haas, who didn’t pick up a single point last season, are turning a corner, too. As well as three points finishes already in 2022, both Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher qualified inside the top six in Canada.
Alpha Tauri x West Ham
These guys are the punchy underdogs who love a scalp.
While Alpha Tauri shocked motorsport with a race win in Monza in 2020, West Ham genuinely competed for a Champions League berth on two fronts last season.
That said, both of these teams are far more likely to lose their assets than actually enter the race for titles and championships.
In fact, Pierre Gasly’s story is much like Declan Rice’s. Now shining in a ‘best of the rest’ team after initially failing to make it with one of the big guns, it seems inevitable both will eventually go on to bigger and better things.