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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Who’s the perfect System 1 driver? Hamilton, Senna, Clark & 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 System 1 exists, however we take 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 – 102 wins

  • First race: 2007 Australian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 7 (2008, 2014-15, 2017-20) 
  • Variety of races: 286 
  • Variety of wins: 102 
  • Variety of pole positions: 102 
  • Profession factors: 4121.5 

By way of profession wins and whole profession factors, Lewis Hamilton is the perfect System 1 driver to have ever graced a circuit. The Brit has taken wins in 30 completely different nations, gained a race in each season he’s competed in, and is at the moment tied on world championships with Michael Schumacher (although he has the prospect to edge one additional in 2021). Hamilton holds many of Formula 1’s records and, with a contract that runs to the end of 2023, he seems to have the ability to push even additional forward on lots of them. 

Whereas he missed changing into champion in his first season by a single level, he turned the (then) youngest world champion the next 12 months. 13 years later he’s secured six extra titles, and is combating for 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 workforce after successful 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 System 1: seven titles (5 of them consecutive), a seemingly insurmountable variety of wins, unrelenting competitiveness – Schumacher modified the sport in F1 along with his mixture of dedication, ardour, and, after all, uncooked expertise.

Whereas he took two titles with Benetton, he’s much more well-known for his time with Ferrari. He joined the workforce in 1996 and, after some highs and lows within the following years, the mixture struck gold in 2000. What adopted within the subsequent 5 years have been 5 world titles, 48 wins, and a report 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 ten Schumacher victories here.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull RB9 Renault

Sebastian Vettel, Purple Bull RB9 Renault

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

3. Sebastian Vettel – 53 wins

  • First race: 2007 United States Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 4 (2010-13)
  • Variety of races: 277
  • Variety of wins: 53
  • Variety of pole positions: 57
  • Profession factors: 3061

Whereas his kind in System 1 isn’t what it as soon as was, 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 turned the face of F1, successful 4 consecutive championships and changing into the youngest world champion within the course of (taking the accolade from Lewis Hamilton). He additionally secured the information 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 adjustments in 2014 didn’t go well with Purple Bull (or him), and the workforce rapidly fell again by way of the pack. He went from 9 consecutive wins within the closing 9 races of the 2013 season to not successful a single race till 2015, and since that 2013 season he’s ‘solely’ taken 14 wins. Regardless of that he’s nonetheless broadly thought to be among the best drivers on the grid, and his checklist of information is more likely to stand for a lot of extra seasons.

Read more about Sebastian Vettel’s top ten 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

4. 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 type 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.

In 1987 he beat Jackie Stewart’s report of 27 wins and a 12 months later McLaren gained 15 out of 16 races throughout the season, which is testomony to each Prost and Senna’s talent. Prost remained on the high of his recreation till his retirement, taking his fourth and closing title for Williams at 38 years {old}.

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8

Picture by: Ercole Colombo

5. 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

One in all 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 mix of pure velocity and stressed ambition gave Senna an edge not often seen.

Such is his legacy that even practically thirty years after his demise, 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

6. Fernando Alonso – 32 wins

  • First race: 2001 Australian Grand Prix
  • World Championships: 2 (2005-06)
  • Variety of races: 331
  • Variety of wins: 32
  • Variety of pole positions: 22
  • Profession factors: 1976

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 System 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 12 months later was a 13-point lead over the good Michael Schumacher, although that is the place Alonso’s success appeared to expire.

A transfer to McLaren in 2007 to associate 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 seemed like it could repay as he entered the ultimate race of the season within the lead, however a mix 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 powerful years he left on the finish of 2018 – simply earlier than McLaren made their manner again in the direction of the entrance of the grid.

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

Regardless of the horrible luck that Alonso has exhibited in System 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

7. 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 considered one of System 1’s ‘unfortunate’ drivers. His profession was dogged by reliability points, and his whole 1988 season consisted of two second-place finishes, two races missed as a consequence of hen pox, and 12 retirements.

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

Mansell took 5 consecutive wins to start out the 1992 season, occurring to say 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}, changing into the fifth-oldest individual to take action.

Jackie Stewart, Tyrell 006 Cosworth

Jackie Stewart, Tyrell 006 Cosworth

Picture by: Motorsport Images

8. 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 may appear an intrinsic a part of F1 as we speak, 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 vary the tradition round security in motorsport. After seeing too lots of his buddies and colleagues killed doing what they cherished, Stewart was a key pioneer within the introduction of full-face helmets, seatbelts, travelling medical models, security obstacles, runoff areas and extra.

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

Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312T

Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312T

Picture by: Motorsport Images

9. 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 System 1 as a pay driver, although no one can deny that, whereas his cash helped him enter F1, it’s his expertise that saved him there.

With three seasons in F1 underneath his belt, Lauda joined Ferrari for the 1974 season and secured two wins and fourth place within the championship for 1974, having typically set the tempo however suffered misfortune. In 1975 Lauda took 5 wins and the primary of his three world titles, but it surely’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 observe, he later turned identified 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 workforce till he handed away in 2019.

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 curious about successful. From 1962-65, the Scottish ace was solely overwhelmed when he encountered mechanical points and on the time of his demise in 1968 – tragically throughout an F2 race at Hockenheim – he held the report 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.

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