Who is the best driver in F1 history is a question of debate that has been and will continue to go on as long as the sport exists. However, taking a look at the statistics of the drivers can help provide a little idea of who are among the greatest drivers of all time. This article presents a list of the Top 20 F1 Drivers of all times ranked on the basis of their performance on the track.
20 Best Formula One Drivers of All Times
Now that you have seen the list of the greatest F1 drivers in sports history, here are some interesting details about them.
#1. Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio was a major auto car enthusiast who abandoned his studies in childhood so that he can pursue a career in auto mechanics. He was the first Formula 1 champion ever and made a record by winning five World Drivers Championship (WDC) that was held for 46 years.
#2. Jim Clark
Jim Clark is counted among the most celebrated F1 drivers and is the winner of two world championships. Other than Formula 1, Clark is known for his excellent performance in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500). Clark died in a car accident at the age of 32 with 25 wins and 33 poles in his name.
#3. Ayrton Senna
Many media outlets, fans and even veteran F1 commentators consider Ayrton Senna as the greatest driver in the history of the sport. Senna was known for his one-lap magic and his performance under wet conditions was unparalleled. Sadly, his amazing Formula 1 career was cut short after he crashed into a concrete barrier in the 1994 Imola GP and died.
#4. Lewis Hamilton
Termed by many as the GOAT (greatest of all time), Lewis Hamilton is a 7 times Formula One champion, a record he shares with Michael Schumacher. He also holds the records for the most wins, pole positions and podium finishes.
#5. Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is a German racing car driver who broke the record of Juan Manuel Fangio to become the most title holder in Formula One (7 in total). he enjoyed a sparkling career in F1 and made multiple records in the sport while still maintaining the record for the maximum fastest laps (77).
#6. Graham Hill
Known popularly as Mr. Monaco, Graham Hill became one of the greatest drivers of his generation only a year after making his debut in Formula One. his biggest achievement in sports history is winning the Triple Crown of Motorsport (Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Formula One World Drivers’ Championship) and is the only driver ever to do so.
#7. Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda is the only driver in Formula One history to have been champion for two of the sport’s most successful constructors, Ferrari and McLaren. In addition to this, he also acted as non-executive chairman of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
#8. Alain Prost
Alain Prost is the recipient of the World Sports Award of the Century in the motor sport category and is one of the greatest drivers in history. He was famously called “The Professor” for his intellectual approach to racing.
#9. Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is the youngest driver to win the F1 WDC (World Driver’s Championship) at the age of 23 years and 134 days old. Not only this, but Vettel is also the winner of four consecutive Formula One championships from 2020 to 2013.
#10. Alberto Ascari
Alberto Ascari was the first World Champion for Ferrari and won back-to-back two championships for the team. Ascari was termed as one of the safest drivers in the most dangerous era of Formula One but sadly died in a car crash while testing a Ferrari 750 Monza sports car with his friend.
#11. Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell is a former British Formula car driver known for being the only driver to hold both the World Drivers’ Championship and the American open-wheel National Championship simultaneously. Mansell is ranked at number 9 in the list of the 50 greatest F1 drivers of all time by the Times Online.
#12. Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso is a versatile driver who not only has won two F1 driver championships but is also the winner of 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Daytona. He is just one Indy car race win to become the second driver to hold the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
#13. Phil Hill
Phil Hill is the only American driver to win Formula One Championship along with Mario Andretti. Other than Formula One, he has also won races in 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring.
#14. Mika Hakkinen
Mika Hakkinen, also known as The Flying Finn, is a two times world champion for McLaren and the only Finnish driver to win the title more than once. Hakkinen retired from sports in 2007 and joined the driver management at Mercedes-Benz AMG.
#15. Gilles Villeneuve
Despite not winning a world driver’s championship, Gilles Villeneuve is considered as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the sport’s history. His son, Jacques Villeneuve, is a Formula One World Champion and the only Canadian to win the title.
#16. Sir Jackie Stewart
Nicknamed the “Flying Scot”, Sir John Young Stewart or Jackie Stewart is a three-time World Drivers’ Championship winner. He is the last surviving Formula One World Champion from the 1960s and the oldest living Formula One winner.
#17. Emerson Fittipaldi
Emerson Fittipaldi is the winner of Formula One World Championship and has also won the Indianapolis 500 and the CART championship. He is one of the three people in the world to have a Corvette production car named in his honor.
#18. Sir Stirling Moss
Stirling Moss is known as the F1 greatest driver to never to win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship. He finished runner-up four times and in third place another three times but always missed out on the win.
#19. Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet is a three-time World Champion, counted among the greatest F1 drivers of all time. His sons Nelson Piquet Jr. and Pedro Piquet are also professional racing drivers. Piquet is also popular for his insulting language to other drivers.
#20. James Hunt
James Hunt, known for his epic rivalry with the great Nikki Lauda, was a one-time Formula One title winner. He was known for his reckless actions on the track and was also known as “Hunt the Shunt”.
Frequently Asked Questions
Juan Manuel Fangio
Michael Schumacher & Lewis Hamilton
Source of information- Google, Wikipedia, Formula One website