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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The ten greatest Components 1 drivers ever: Hamilton, Senna & extra

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The most effective F1 driver in historical past is a debate that has, and can proceed to, rage so long as Components 1 exists, however we have a look at who the perfect drivers are statistically.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st place, celebrates on arrival in Parc Ferme

Picture by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

1. Lewis Hamilton – 103 wins

  • First race: 2007 Australian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 7 (2008, 2014-15, 2017-20) 
  • Variety of races: 334 
  • Variety of wins: 103 
  • Variety of pole positions: 104
  • Profession factors: 4647.5 

By way of profession wins and complete profession factors, Lewis Hamilton is the perfect Components 1 driver to have ever graced a circuit. The Brit has taken wins in 30 completely different international locations, gained a race in nearly each season he’s competed in, and is at the moment tied on world championships with Michael Schumacher, having narrowly missed out on taking an eighth world title in 2021 to Max VerstappenHamilton holds many of Formula 1’s records and, with a contract that runs to the end of 2023, he appears to have the ability to push even additional forward on a lot of them. 

Whereas he missed turning into champion in his first season by a single level, he grew to become the (then) youngest world champion the next yr. Fourteen years later he’s secured six extra titles, and is attempting to find an eighth. 

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Read more about Hamilton’s first 100 wins here.

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004 celebrates with the Ferrari team after winning his 7th world championship with Jean Todt and Ross Brawn

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004 celebrates with the Ferrari crew after profitable his seventh world championship with Jean Todt and Ross Brawn

Picture by: Motorsport Images

2. Michael Schumacher – 91 wins

  • First race: 1991 Belgian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 7 (1994-95, 2000-04)
  • Variety of races: 308
  • Variety of wins: 91
  • Variety of pole positions: 68
  • Profession factors: 1566

When contemplating the perfect F1 driver, Michael Schumacher instantly springs to thoughts. He was, till the rise of Hamilton, the face of domination in Components 1: seven titles (5 of them consecutive), a seemingly insurmountable variety of wins, unrelenting competitiveness – Schumacher modified the sport in F1 together with his mixture of dedication, ardour, and, after all, uncooked expertise.

Whereas he took two titles with Benetton, he’s way more well-known for his time with Ferrari. He joined the crew in 1996 and, after some highs and lows within the following years, the mix struck gold in 2000. What adopted within the subsequent 5 years had been 5 world titles, 48 wins, and a document e book that had Michael Schumacher’s identify in nearly each subject.

His second stint in F1 wasn’t as profitable as his first, yielding a single podium so as to add to his assortment. Nonetheless, his 91 wins, 155 podiums and 68 pole positions nonetheless put him excessive up in any statistical evaluation. See our top 10 Schumacher victories here.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB18

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

3. Max Verstappen – 56 wins

  • First race: 2015 Australian Grand Prix
  • World championships: 3 (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Variety of races: 188
  • Variety of wins: 56
  • Variety of pole positions: 34
  • Profession factors: 2637.5

Max Verstappen, son of former Components 1 driver Jos, spent only one yr in automotive racing earlier than making his F1 debut. Whereas he received to grips with the single-seaters within the Florida Winter Sequence, his junior profession is greatest remembered for his 2014 European Components 3 marketing campaign when he completed third within the championship behind Tom Blomqvist and title-winner Esteban Ocon. 

This single season, through which he took 10 wins from 32 races, together with six consecutive wins, was sufficient to earn him the transfer as much as F1, taking a seat at Pink Bull sister crew Toro Rosso for 2015 and turning into the youngest-ever grand prix driver. His inaugural F1 season returned some success in middle-of-the-pack equipment – 10 points-paying finishes from 19 races – nevertheless it was his second season the place he actually introduced his entry in F1. 

Getting the decision as much as the senior Pink Bull crew 5 races into the 2016 season, changing the beleaguered Daniil Kvyat, Verstappen took his first win instantly on the Spanish GP, aided by Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton crashing out collectively on the primary lap. 

He’d take an extra 9 wins by the top of the 2020 season, earlier than the tweaked technical laws for the 2021 season resulted in Pink Bull producing a automotive actually able to preventing for the world title. With the Pink Bull a lot nearer to the beforehand dominant Mercedes automotive, Verstappen and Hamilton engaged in an arduous, season-long battle for the title. The struggle got here all the way down to the ultimate lap of the ultimate race, with Verstappen simply taking the honours forward of the seven-time world champion for his first title since karting in 2013. 

The 2022 championship was a a lot simpler time for the Dutchman by comparability. Although he failed to complete two of the opening three rounds because of reliability bother, Verstappen sailed to the title behind the wheel of the RB18, together with his win in Suzuka proving sufficient to take the title. His run to the 2023 title was imperious, breaking data for wins and factors with relative ease. With a second and third crown to his identify, it stays to be seen what number of extra he can add to his tally.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull RB9 Renault

Sebastian Vettel, Pink Bull RB9 Renault

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

4. Sebastian Vettel – 53 wins

  • First race: 2007 United States Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 4 (2010-13)
  • Variety of races: 300
  • Variety of wins: 53
  • Variety of pole positions: 57
  • Profession factors: 3098

Whereas his kind in Components 1 slowed in direction of the top of his profession, there was a time when Sebastian Vettel was just about unbeatable.

Vettel’s F1 profession began in 2007 and, in his first three years, he took 9 podiums and 5 wins, although this was nothing on what was to return. Over the subsequent 4 years he grew to become the face of F1, profitable 4 consecutive championships and turning into the youngest world champion within the course of (taking the accolade from Lewis Hamilton). He additionally secured the data for many podium finishes in a season, most wins in a season, most pole positions in a season, most laps led in a season, most consecutive wins, most consecutive grand slams, and most wins from pole place in a season.

Sadly for Vettel the regulation modifications in 2014 didn’t go well with Red Bull (or him), and the crew shortly fell again by the pack. He went from 9 consecutive wins within the ultimate 9 races of the 2013 season to not profitable a single race till 2015, and since that 2013 season he’s ‘solely’ taken 14 wins. Regardless of that he was nonetheless extensively considered among the finest drivers on the grid till his retirement on the finish of the 2022 season, and his checklist of data is more likely to stand for a lot of extra seasons.

Read more about Sebastian Vettel’s top 10 wins here.


Podium: Second placed Elio De Angelis, Lotus, race winner Alain Prost, McLaren, third placed  Thierry Boutsen, Arrows

Podium: Second positioned Elio De Angelis, Lotus, race winner Alain Prost, McLaren, third positioned Thierry Boutsen, Arrows

Picture by: Sutton Photos

5. Alain Prost – 51 wins

  • First race: 1980 Argentinian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 4 (1985-86, 1989, 1993)
  • Variety of races: 199
  • Variety of wins: 51
  • Variety of pole positions: 33
  • Profession factors: 768.5

It was Alain Prost‘s meticulous model that allowed him to go up in opposition to Ayrton Senna – the bitter feud that he’s greatest remembered for. His secret weapon was brainpower, in addition to velocity, and he possessed a pure precision in his driving that allowed Prost to change into France’s first world champion in 1985.

Race of my life: Prost on the 1990 Mexican GP

In 1987 he beat Jackie Stewart‘s document of 27 wins and a yr later McLaren gained 15 out of 16 races throughout the season, which is testomony to each Prost and Senna’s ability. Prost remained on the prime of his recreation till his retirement, taking his fourth and ultimate title for Williams at 38 years {old}.

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8

Picture by: Ercole Colombo

6. Ayrton Senna – 41 wins

  • First race: 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 3 (1988, 1990-91)
  • Variety of races: 161
  • Variety of wins: 41
  • Variety of pole positions: 65
  • Profession factors: 610

Considered one of motorsport’s most legendary figures, Ayrton Senna stays the benchmark for uncooked expertise and charisma.

His depth of dedication to a lap and his fixed need to push the boundaries for extra has meant that Senna has a particular place within the hearts of many motorsport followers. His three titles give a way of what may have been had he not died on the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. A mixture of pure velocity and stressed ambition gave Senna an edge not often seen.

PLUS: Senna’s 10 greatest Formula 1 races

Such is his legacy that even practically thirty years after his dying, Senna’s cars and the way he won his greatest F1 title are nonetheless talked about.


Race winner Fernando Alonso, Renault celebrates on the podium

Race winner Fernando Alonso, Renault celebrates on the rostrum

Picture by: Sutton Photos

7. Fernando Alonso – 32 wins

  • First race: 2001 Australian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 2 (2005-06)
  • Variety of races: 383
  • Variety of wins: 32
  • Variety of pole positions: 22
  • Profession factors: 2283

Fernando Alonso is a two-time world champion with a status as a fearless, aggressive racer, although his profession will be outlined as a lot by what didn’t come as the 2 titles he gained.

The Spaniard spent three years in Components 1 earlier than scoring the primary of his two consecutive crowns, taking the title with a snug 21 level lead over Kimi Raikkonen. His second title the yr later was a 13-point lead over the good Michael Schumacher, although that is the place Alonso’s luck appeared to expire.

A transfer to McLaren in 2007 to accomplice then-rookie Lewis Hamilton noticed him end the season in third, only one level behind winner Kimi Raikkonen and behind Hamilton, who had the identical factors however extra wins. His 2010 transfer to Ferrari appeared like it will repay as he entered the ultimate race of the season within the lead, however a mixture of him getting caught behind Vitaly Petrov and a win for Sebastian Vettel meant Alonso needed to accept second. He missed the 2012 title by simply three factors (once more to Vettel), and was second once more in 2013 (although was 155 factors the German).

He moved again to McLaren in 2015 – simply in time for the disastrous McLaren-Honda relationship – and after 4 robust years he left on the finish of 2018 – simply earlier than McLaren made their means again in direction of the entrance of the grid.

Even the 2021 season was unkind to Alonso – racing for the midfield Alpine crew he secured a fourth place on the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix (the perfect he’d completed for seven years) whereas his crew mate Esteban Ocon went on to win, although a long-awaited 98th podium lastly got here in Qatar.

A shock transfer to Aston Martin for the 2023 season proved to be a masterstroke, because the crew rocketed up from midfield to the entrance of the pack. Alonso opened the season with two third locations – giving him his prestigious a hundredth profession podium within the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Regardless of the horrible luck that Alonso has exhibited in Components 1 he’s nonetheless taken 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 23 quickest laps, and is a agency fan favorite. You can read more about his greatest races here.


Race winner Nigel Mansell, Williams FW11B Honda

Race winner Nigel Mansell, Williams FW11B Honda

Picture by: Motorsport Images

8. Nigel Mansell – 31 wins

  • First race: 1980 Austrian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 1 (1992)
  • Variety of races: 187
  • Variety of wins: 31
  • Variety of pole positions: 32
  • Profession factors: 482

Nigel Mansell was one other certainly one of Components 1’s ‘unfortunate’ drivers. His profession was dogged by reliability points, and his total 1988 season consisted of two second-place finishes, two races missed because of hen pox, and 12 retirements.

He managed to complete in second place within the championship 3 times – lacking out on the title by two factors in 1986 – and as he entered his twelfth full-time season in Components 1, it appeared like he would possibly go down as yet one more good driver to overlook out on the title. Fortunately for the Brit although, this didn’t occur.

PLUS: Mansell’s greatest F1 and Indycar drives

Mansell took 5 consecutive wins to begin the 1992 season, happening to assert 4 extra and taking an extra three second-place finishes. This was sufficient for ‘Il leone’ to take the title on the age of 39 years {old}, turning into the fifth-oldest particular person to take action.


Jackie Stewart, Tyrell 006 Cosworth

Jackie Stewart, Tyrell 006 Cosworth

Picture by: Motorsport Images

9. Jackie Stewart – 27 wins

  • First race: 1965 South African Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 3 (1969, 1971, 1973)
  • Variety of races: 99
  • Variety of wins: 27
  • Variety of pole positions: 17
  • Profession factors: 360

It might sound an intrinsic a part of F1 in the present day, however Jackie Stewart was one of many first drivers to show that racers can, and will, try for higher security requirements. As a triple champion and dominant pressure within the sport, Stewart had the credibility wanted to alter the tradition round security in motorsport. After seeing too a lot of his mates and colleagues killed doing what they beloved, Stewart was a key pioneer within the introduction of full-face helmets, seatbelts, travelling medical items, security boundaries, runoff areas and extra.

Outdoors his quest for security, Stewart was a prodigious expertise on monitor and was the person to beat all through his time on the grid, claiming three world titles with Ken Tyrrell’s eponymous crew as the 2 fashioned an irrepressible double-act within the late Sixties and early Seventies.

Read more about Jackie Stewart’s best races here.

Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312T

Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312T

Picture by: Motorsport Images

=10. Niki Lauda – 25 wins

  • First race: 1971 Austrian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 3 (1975, 1977, 1984)
  • Variety of races: 171
  • Variety of wins: 25
  • Variety of pole positions: 24
  • Profession factors: 420.5

Niki Lauda entered Components 1 as a pay driver although no person can deny that, whereas his cash helped him enter F1, it’s his expertise that saved him there.

With three seasons in F1 beneath his belt, Lauda joined Ferrari for the 1974 season and secured two wins and fourth place within the championship for 1974, having usually set the tempo however suffered misfortune. In 1975 Lauda took 5 wins and the primary of his three world titles, nevertheless it’s his 1976 season – and the notorious Nurburgring crash – that’s his most well-known.

He bounced again from a life-threatening crash on the Nurburgring to overlook out on the title by one level to James Hunt. He took his second title in 1977 and retired two years later, solely to return with McLaren in 1982. That yielded a 3rd crown in 1984, after an epic contest with Alain Prost, earlier than Lauda retired for good on the finish of 1985.

Whereas he proved his expertise on monitor, he later grew to become recognized for his enterprise sense off it. He labored in managerial positions for Ferrari and Jaguar, although he’s most well-known for his half in Mercedes.

He was instrumental in bringing Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes for the 2013 season, and labored with the crew till he handed away in 2019.

Read more about Niki Lauda’s 10 best races here.

Jim Clark, Lotus 49 Ford

Jim Clark, Lotus 49 Ford

Picture by: Motorsport Images

=10. Jim Clark – 25 wins

  • First race: 1960 Dutch Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 2 (1963, 1965)
  • Variety of races: 72
  • Variety of wins: 25
  • Variety of pole positions: 33
  • Profession factors: 274

Jim Clark shunned the limelight and was solely fascinated about profitable. From 1962-65, the Scottish ace was arguably solely overwhelmed on the earth title when he encountered mechanical points and on the time of his dying in 1968 – tragically throughout an F2 race at Hockenheim – he held the document for probably the most race wins.

An unrivalled expertise, Clark was eight miles away from the closest competitor within the torrential rain at Spa in 1963, highlighting the bravery of a driver racing in probably the most harmful interval of motorsport’s historical past.

Read more about Jim Clark’s greatest drives here.

PLUS: Who is the greatest driver of all time?

F1 drivers ranked by wins

Driver Races Began Wins Championships
Lewis Hamilton 335 103 7
Michael Schumacher 308 91 7
Max Verstappen 188 56 3
Sebastian Vettel 299 53 4
Alain Prost 199 51 4
Ayrton Senna 161 41 3
Fernando Alonso 380 32 2
Nigel Mansell 187 31 1
Jackie Stewart 99 27 3
Niki Lauda 171 25 3
Jim Clark 72 25 2

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