If A-League clubs were Formula 1 drivers

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With the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix returning this weekend, it makes perfect sense that we compare the current F1 drivers to A-League teams, right? 

Adelaide United – Daniel Ricciardo 

Always well known, always well respected and always known as one of the bigger dogs in their respective league – yet they both have historically underachieved. 

Apart from FFA Cup success, the Reds have always struggled to get over the hump in the A-League Men’s competition – twice premiers and twice runners-up in four different seasons, the Reds should have more than one championship to their name. 

And Australia’s own Ricciardo should have more than eight wins to his name after his frustrating struggles since his Red Bull Racing departure. 

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Brisbane Roar – Sebastian Vettel 

Vettel and the Roar are a match made in heaven. 

Let’s start with the fact they both dominated their respective leagues from 2010-2014. Vettel was a four-time world champion during that span, whilst the Roar had three of their own championships in that stretch. 

Now here is an impressive fact, Brisbane holds the Australian footballing record of 36 consecutive games without defeat from the 18th of September 2010 to the 26th of November 2011 – meanwhile, Vettel just happens to hold the F1 record of nine consecutive grand prix victories. 

Canberra United – Sergio Perez 

Checo Perez has always loved to splash some green into his helmets to pay homage to his Mexican routes, and maybe, just maybe it is also to pay some respect to his Canberra United counterparts, who knows?

Furthermore, Checo has been a warrior for a long, long time. He has won races and has always been around the mark despite driving for teams that haven’t been renowned with success. 

Whilst Canberra United have been a warrior of the A-League Women for some time, a two-time champion, and a perennial finals team.  

Central Coast Mariners – George Russell  

George has struggled in his time in the F1’s with a 20th and an 18th place finish in the world championship in 2019 and 2020. 

Whilst the Mariners know all about losing, with four wooden spoons in their past six seasons. 

However, Russell has always had potential – and once he finally got a seat in a Mercedes car for one race last season, he showed just how good he could be. 

Whilst the Mariners last season shocked the league, going from wooden spoon to a top-three finish. 

This year, the Mariners are well and truly in the thick of a finals hunt, whilst Russell – who now has a permanent seat in a Mercedes car – is ready to fire on all cylinders.

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Macarthur FC – Pierre Gasly 

Macarthur are still known as the new kids on the block after their founding in 2017 and entering the A-League Men’s competition in 2020. 

Whilst Gasly, who first entered the F1’s in 2017, is also known as a young, exciting prospect. 

But neither of these two are just prospects, they are young and ready to win now. 

Gasly showed the world his ability in his Alpha Tauri-Red Bull by winning his first grand prix against all the odds in Italy. 

Whilst Macarthur hit the ground running in their inaugural season, making the finals and then winning their first final against the Mariners. 

Macarthur currently sit third on the table and stare down a hot finals’ pursuit, whilst Gasly is ready to go one better and win his second grand prix this season.  

Melbourne City – Max Verstappen 

They are both the team to beat right now, and rightly so. 

Melbourne City and Verstappen both got the elusive monkey off their backs by breaking through and winning their maiden titles in 2021. 

Now they are both the favourites to win the title this year and have switched from the hunter to the hunted. 

With the backing of Red Bull and the backing of the City Football group, both these teams are ready to embark on an era of dominance.  

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Melbourne Victory – Fernando Alonso 

One of the greatest to ever do it, Alonso is an all-time star of the F1 world – and the same can be said for Melbourne Victory. 

Both Alonso and Victory witnessed success at an early age. Victory won two of the first four A-League Men titles in 2006/07 and 2008/09.  

Alonso himself snapped up two world championships in quick succession in 2005 and 2006 at the age of 24, making him the third youngest world champion of all time. 

Despite both being young at the time, Alonso and Victory were the one to beat from 2005-2009 and created an era of dominance.   

Newcastle Jets – Mick Schumacher 

As Newcastle have the most losses of all time, it is only right that they are compared to the young Mick Schumacher. 

Despite the name, Schumacher has yet to reach his father’s lofty heights as of yet as he struggled in his first Formula 1 season, finishing in the bottom eight in every race. 

It is only up from here for Mick as Haas finally look to have a competitive car, and it is only up from here for the Jets who have shown signs of improvement already, winning more games this campaign than they did last season.  

Perth Glory – Valterri Bottas 

Forever the bridesmaids, Perth Glory have underachieved more than most, whilst Bottas who has the talent – was always the bridesmaid to a guy named Lewis Hamilton. 

However, Glory have never been a walkover side, they have always been a challenge and have a tremendous home-ground advantage. 

Whilst Bottas is a star, 10 wins to his name along with four top-three world championship finishes, you can never rule him out – and he looks to be just as good in his new seat at Alfa Romeo. 

Sydney FC – Lewis Hamilton 

It is no real surprise that the team with the most A-League Men championships pairs up with the guy that has the most F1 World Championships. 

Hamilton and Sydney FC are a match made in heaven. 

Both narrowly missed out on yet another title in the 2021 season. Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the last lap of the last race, whilst Sydney hit the front in the grand final, just for Melbourne City to come over them late in the last match of the season. 

But their unlucky 2021 year takes nothing away from their eras of dominance between 2016-2020 when they were both unstoppable.  

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Wellington Phoenix – Alexander Albon 

The man from well abroad, Alex Albon is the only F1 driver from Thailand and is the first Thai driver in over 60 years, whilst the Nix are the only team from over the ditch in the A-Leagues. 

Geography aside, Albon has had some success. He was always around the mark during his Red Bull days with two podiums to his name, yet he could never turn his success into a first place finish. 

The same can be said for the Nix. Wellington have been around the mark plenty of times with six finals campaigns to their name, yet they have never made it past the semi-finals. 

Western Sydney Wanderers – Carlos Sainz 

Despite being relatively young, both Sainz and the Wanderers have experience that goes well beyond their age. 

Sainz has been a super driver since his switch to McLaren in 2019, finishing in the top six in the world championship every year. 

Whilst the Wanderers took no time to adjust to their new A-League Men life as they hit the ground running, winning the premiership and making the grand final. 

Since that moment the Wanderers have become one of the most respected sides in the A-Leagues to have not won a championship. The same can be said for Sainz for his consistency.  

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Western United – Charles Leclerc 

There is not many F1 drivers like Leclerc that have been around for such a short amount of time yet seem to have been around forever. 

Western United is no different. Another relatively young side, they have wasted no time in impressing and performing like they have always belonged. 

Leclerc now looks towards a 2022 season full of hope and promise after a win in the opening Bahrain Grand Prix, whilst Western United currently sit in second place and are within touching distance of the top of the table. 

The sky’s the limit for these two.  

Featured Image Credit: Jon Wilde

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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