Formula 1 is the biggest automobile race in the world, combining adrenaline, style, and speed. Today we will have a look at the best and most recognized F1 drivers in history, who have not only left an indelible mark on popular lists but also in the hearts of their fans.
Formula One (F1) showcases the glamour and love for racing, despite the risks involved, as the objective is clear: to be the first to reach the finish line!
It boasts the greatest technology and design of racing cars and brings together the best F1 drivers in history to show their skills and compete in the Grand Prix.
Best F1 Drivers of All Time
Many factors have contributed to the success of this event for decades, ranging from the manufacture of star car prototypes and the demonstration of true teamwork to the training and optimization of each competitor.
1. Lewis Hamilton – 103 Wins
Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest great F1 drivers in the world. His racing talents managed to beat the world record held by Michael Schumacher.
Lewis has won the F1 prize 7 times and in the beginning, he rose as the youngest winner in the entire history of Formula One in 2008. To his credit, he has 103 victories and countless world records.
Since then, he has been in charge of giving this competition greater prestige and audience since, thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s participation, the views have been skyrocketing.
Many attribute his success to his lifestyle and his social activism since this star has also been an influencer in fashion and music.
In this sense, he has become one of the best, most powerful, and most recognized pilots in the world.
2. Michael Schumacher – 91 Wins
For many, he is the king of racing and it is that this German has had a brilliant career. He is the owner of 7 F1 awards, twice runner-up, and creditor of 91 victories and 3,890 points, which makes him the second-best driver in the entire history of F1.
He has been a key player in Ferrari’s success he is part of its Drivers’ Academy. Michael Schumacher has been an idol for the undoubted racing talent that he showed at just 4 years of age.
Since then he has participated in multiple competitions, not only in motor racing but also in motorcycling, reaffirming his great versatility in the championships.
In this sense, he has left an important legacy in his family who have followed in his footsteps in the world of racing.
3. Max Verstappen – 54 Wins
Max Verstappen, the son of former Formula One driver Jos, had only been racing for a year before making his F1 debut.
While he learned the single-seaters in the Florida Winter Series, his junior career is best remembered for his third-place finish in the 2014 European Formula 3 championship behind Tom Blomqvist and title-winner Esteban Ocon.
In comparison, the Dutchman had a lot easier time in the 2022 championship. Despite failing to finish two of the first three rounds owing to reliability issues, Verstappen cruised to the title behind the wheel of the RB18, with his victory in Suzuka proving decisive.
His domineering drive to the 2023 title broke records for wins and points with relative ease. With a second and third title under his belt, it will be interesting to see how many more he can add to his collection.
4. Sebastian Vettel – 53 wins
Vettel’s Formula One career began in 2007, and in his first three years, he took nine podiums and five wins, but this was nothing compared to what was to come.
Over the next four years, he became the face of Formula One, winning four successive championships and becoming the sport’s youngest world champion (taking the title from Lewis Hamilton).
He also set records for the most podium finishes in a season, the most victories in a season, the most pole positions in a season, the most laps led in a season, the most consecutive wins, the most consecutive grand slams, and the most wins from pole in a season.
Despite this, until his retirement at the end of the 2022 season, he was universally recognized as one of the best drivers on the grid, and his list of records is expected to continue for many more seasons.
5. Alain Prost – 51 Wins
Alain Prost is among the best Formula One drivers ever in the history of F1 racing. He has won 4 F1 world prizes and 4 runners-up.
He has been characterized by having a particular running technique, which is why he is nicknamed El Maestro.
He was a legend in the world of motorsports during the 80s and 90s and despite his 67 years, he is still a key player in Formula 1 but through the Alpine team.
This is how he is remembered in the racing world. His rivalry with Ayrton Senna was epic and gave meaning to this competition.
Finally, he won 51 races and became one of the best and most important drivers in this world championship.
6. Ayrton Senna – 41 Wins
This Brazilian demonstrated his great agility and speed in the world of motorsports. His career was short but he won 3 F1 prizes and was runner-up twice.
The fastest as he was recognized in Formula 1, he achieved 41 victories and throughout his career, he stood out for his impeccable career.
Likewise, he always stood out for his technique and aggressiveness on asphalt and wet tracks.
His competition with Alain Prost was always emblematic and attracted a large audience due to the confrontation between the two greats.
His tragic death shocked the world of motorsport as he died in 1994, at the age of 34, when he was racing in the San Marino GP and crashed right into the Tamburello corner. Since then, his legacy has remained valid for new generations.
Consequently, he has been one of the best drivers and is among the most important in all of history.
7. Fernando Alonso – 32 wins
Fernando Alonso is a two-time world champion with a reputation for being a reckless, aggressive racer, yet his career is characterized as much by what didn’t happen as it is by what did.
The Spaniard had been in Formula One for three years before winning the first of his two straight titles, with a commanding 21-point advantage over Kimi Raikkonen.
His second title the following year came with a 13-point advantage over the great Michael Schumacher, but this was when Alonso’s luck seemed to run out.
After joining McLaren in 2007 to work alongside then-rookie Lewis Hamilton, he finished third, just one point behind winner Kimi Raikkonen and behind Hamilton, who had the same points but more wins.
His 2010 transfer to Ferrari appeared to be paying off when he led the penultimate race of the season, but a combination of his getting stranded behind Vitaly Petrov and Sebastian Vettel winning meant Alonso had to settle for second.
He missed out on the 2012 title by three points (again to Vettel), and he finished second again in 2013 (albeit he was 155 points behind the German).
8. Nigel Mansell – 31 wins
Nigel Mansell was another ‘unlucky’ Formula One driver. His career was marred by reliability concerns, with two second-place results, two races missed due to chicken pox, and 12 retirements.
He finished second in the championship three times, missing out on the crown by two points in 1986, and as he began his 12th full-time season in Formula 1, it appeared that he would go down in history as yet another excellent driver who failed to win the championship. Fortunately for the British, this did not occur.
9. Jackie Stewart – 27 Wins
He is a great Scottish driver who won 3 F1 prizes and double runner-up. With 27 victories this talented man was a key player in the 60s and 70s for the BRM, Tyrrel, and Matra teams.
He had great recognition in the universal motorsport contest to the point that in 1997 he founded his team that lasted 3 years and positioned it in 4th place among the constructors. Today he is 82 years old and has the pleasure of having been part of this story.
10. Niki Lauda – 25 wins
Nobody can deny that Niki Lauda was a paid driver when he first entered Formula One, but it was his talent that kept him there.
With three F1 seasons under his belt, Lauda joined Ferrari for the 1974 season, when he won two races and finished fourth in the championship, despite frequently setting the pace but suffering misfortune.
Lauda won five races and the first of his three world championships in 1975, but it was his 1976 season – and the horrific Nurburgring crash – that made him renowned.
Of course, many names are left out, but in this list, we have collected those who are considered, almost unanimously, the best F1 drivers in history. Some are already part of it, others are just building it, but being part of this podium is already great merit.
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