The F1 race teams back in the 80’s and 90’s who were mid pack never showed much improvement due to budget and part-paid drives securing a seat. At times they made the podium or by a strike of good fortune in the weather they won a race. Example Panis and Monaco 1996.
1995 we saw Gianni Morbidelli take 3rd place in the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. It was good for the sport though quite a rare sight. Whereas today we see more mid pack drivers having a top six finish or even a podium or a win, eg Alpha Tauri/Honda Pierre Gasly 2020 Monza, Italy.
From 2020 to now we have seen George Russell make inroads to the podium with a car swap for one race after Lewis Hamilton apparently contracted Covid19. Pierre Gasly has improved after leaving Red Bull though Alex Albon fell by the Horner sword failing to secure a ride for 2021, a talent loss not picked up by anyone.
Lando Norris with teammate Carlos Sainz in 2020 took on the Renault factory team for his McLaren team finishing 3rd in the Constructor’s ahead of Renault in 5th. A driver swap in 2020 (Ricciardo to McLaren and Sainz to Ferrari) plus Alpine taking the factory team name of Renault out of the sport is showing 3rd place McLaren 50 points ahead of Alpine seated in 5th and 5 points ahead of Ferrari who remain 4th in the 2021 F1 Constructors.
AlphaTauri Honda and Alpine Renault F1 teams are the only two mid pack teams showing some initiative to score valuable money points with Alpha Ferrari, Williams Mercedes and Haas Ferrari yet to score one point in 2021. The last three teams struggle with budget not so the drivers, or perhaps only one driver. Letting you guess who that may be.