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The 10 best Formula 1 drivers in history

The 10 best Formula 1 drivers in history

Who are the best Formula 1 drivers of all time?

Formula 1 has a very rich history since its beginnings in the 1940s. The best drivers from all over the world compete each year to win the title of Formula 1 world champion.

It should be noted that the number of races per season having increased considerably over the years, the number of victories and races is very important among drivers of recent generations.

From Juan Manuel Fangio to Lewis Hamilton, while passing by Schumacher or even Prost, discover our Top 10 best Formula 1 drivers of all time.


Top 10 best Formula 1 drivers in history

10. Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history

World titles: 3
Races won: 25
Podiums: 54

Niki Lauda is certainly one of the best Formula 1 drivers of the 70s and 80s. Despite a very serious accident during the German Grand Prix in 1976, where Lauda was seriously burned in the face and intoxicated, he took the wheel again for 6 weeks later against all odds. He finished runner-up that same year and won the title the following year, when many thought he was weakened by the accident.

During his career, Niki Lauda has achieved 25 victories and was crowned world champion 3 times. However, under better conditions and without this tragic accident, his record could have been much more prestigious. It is especially his mental strength after such a drama that makes him one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time.


9. Sebastian Vettel

World titles: 4
Races won: 53
Podiums: 121

Sebastian Vettel is one of the best Formula 1 drivers of recent years. He is one of the few, along with Fangio and Schumacher, to have won the F1 world championship four times in a row, between 2010 and 2013. He first moved to BWM Sauber and Toro Rosso, but it was with Red Bull that he will win his four titles.

Then moved to Ferrarri, he will still be vice-champion twice in 2017 and 2018. In total in his career, Vettel has participated in 233 Grand Prix, including 52 victories and 117 podiums. The German driver also holds the record for victories in one season (13), tied with Schumacher.


8. Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss

World titles: 0
Races won: 16
Podiums: 24

Sir Stirling Moss is the only F1 driver in our ranking who has never been a world champion. There is a good reason for that, he has always been in the shadow of the famous Juan Manuel Fangio. This is what has earned him the nickname “Champion without a crown”. Despite an empty trophy cabinet, he is still one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history.

Stirling Moss has competed in 66 F1 Grand Prix in his career, and won 16. This is the most wins for a driver who has never won a world title. Moss will be vice-champion 4 years in a row, between 1955 and 1958, including 3 times behind Fangio.


7. Jim Clark

Jim Clark F1

World titles: 2
Races won: 25
Podiums: 32

Jim Clark is certainly one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time. His track record, which he established in just a few years, is very impressive. He won 25 of the 73 races he entered, and had to retire 28 times. Clark won the title of world champion twice in 1963 and 1965.

During the Rally of Great Britain in 1966, he even managed to compete with the best rally drivers before giving up after leaving the road. Unfortunately, Clark was the victim of a serious accident during a Formula 2 race in 1968 and was killed. It will be the end of a brief, but brilliant career for one of the greatest pilots of the 20th century.


6. Jackie Stewart

World titles: 3
Races won: 27
Podiums: 43

Jackie Stewart is a Scottish driver who ruled the F1 world in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Only a year after Jim Clark’s tragic death in 1968, Jackie Stewart became the new star of motorsport. Brittany by winning his first Formula 1 world championship title.

In 99 races, Stewart has been on the podium 43 times. Above all, he won 27 victories, a record that was not broken until 1987 by a certain Alain Prost. In just 9 F1 seasons, he became 3 times world champion and finished second twice. Voted sportsman of the year in 1973, Jackie Stewart is undoubtedly one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history.


5. Alain Prost

World titles: 4
Races won: 51
Podiums: 106

Alain Prost is quite simply the best French driver in the history of F1. His statistics are impressive, with 106 podiums and 51 wins in 199 races. The only French Formula 1 world champion, he won the title 4 times between 1985 and 1993. Because of his very thoughtful and intellectual approach to racing, Prost is nicknamed “the professor”. He also demonstrates great skill in preparing his car for different race conditions.

The rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna is one of the greatest moments in F1 history. It was when he won the title of champion in 1993 that he proved to everyone that he was among the greatest. Then 38 years old, he won his 4th coronation by beating his lifelong rival, Senna.


4. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton F1 Mercedes amg best Formula 1 drivers in history

World titles: 7
Races won: 96
Podiums: 167

Lewis Hamilton is the best Formula 1 driver of recent years. With 7 world championship titles, he equalized Michael Schumacher’s record. And he is on track to win an 8th in the next few years. Hamilton holds the record for the number of pole positions (98), the record for podiums (167) and the record for victories with 96 races won.

After a first title in 2008 with McLaren, Lewis Hamilton won 6 new Formula 1 world championships with Mercedes between 2014 and 2020. Only the title in 2016 escapes him by 5 points, in favor of his teammate Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton is already one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history. His career is not over, however, he can still climb into this Top 10.


3. Michael Schumacher

Schumi F1 best Formula 1 drivers in history

World titles: 7
Races won: 91
Podiums: 155

Michael Schumacher is a legend of Formula 1 and motorsport in general. With a total of 7 titles, he is the driver who won the most Formula 1 World Championships, now equaled by Hamilton. “Schumi” won a total of 91 out of 307 races, making him the 2nd driver with the most races won, behind Lewis Hamilton.

Schumacher obtained his first 2 world titles with Benetton in 1994 and 1995, before joining Ferrari. With the Italian team, he will first experience a few years of adaptation before reigning supreme over the world of Formula 1 for 5 long years. It’s safe to say that Michael Schumacher is one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time.


2. Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna, one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time F1

World titles: 3
Races won: 41
Podiums: 80

Ayrton Senna, also known as “Magic Senna”, is one of the best Formula 1 drivers of all time. Between 1984 and 1994, he took part in 161 races, won 41 and climbed 80 times on the podium. In addition, he held the pole position record (65) from 1989 to 2006, before being overtaken by Schumacher. His legendary duels with Alain Prost will remain etched in the memories of all F1 fans.

After 3 titles between 1988 and 1991 with McLaren, Senna experienced 2 more difficult years where he placed 4th and 2nd in the 1992 and 1993 seasons. The following year, he decided to join Williams to win a 4th title. But in the fourth race of the season, Senna suffered a fatal accident on the Imola circuit. A tragic death for one of the greatest F1 drivers in history.


1. Juan Manuel Fangio

Best Formula 1 Drivers in History Juan Manuel Fangio F1

World titles: 5
Races won: 24
Podiums: 35

Juan Manuel Fangio is an Argentinian driver who dominated the Formula 1 world during the 1950s. Fangio was world champion 5 times, including 4 in a row between 1954 and 1957. He is also the only driver to have won the world title with 4 different teams. After a first title in 1951 with Alpha-Romeo, Fangio won 2 on Mercedes in 1954 and 1955. The following year he won his 4th title with Ferrari, then to demonstrate his greatness, he won a last title with Maserati at the age 47.

Fangio’s statistics are nothing short of impressive. He has 24 wins in 51 races, which is almost 50% of races won. The only 2 years when Fangio did not finish champion, he was second, which shows his consistency at the highest level. Juan Manuel Fangio is therefore in 1st place in our Top 10 of the best Formula 1 drivers in history.


Honorable mentions

Mika hakkinen : World champion in 1998 and 1999 with McLaren-Mercedes, Häkkinen is an F1 driver nicknamed the “Flying Finn”. With 20 races won and 51 podiums, he is one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history.

Fernando Alonso : First Spanish world champion, Alonso won the title twice in 2005 and 2006 at the wheel of a Renault. During his Formula 1 career he won 32 races and was 91 times on the podium.

Nelson Piquet : Triple world champion, Nelson Piquet has acquired his titles against champions such as Lauda, ​​Senna or Prost. The Brazilian has 23 won races and 60 podiums in 207 participations.


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And who do you think is the best Formula 1 driver of all time?

If you liked our ranking of the best scorers of all time, also discover our TOP 10 of the best motorcycle GP riders in history.

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