Formula One (Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of single seater auto racing and it’s very popular among the lovers of motorsports. The cars used in F1 are the fastest multi-turn circuit-racing cars in the world, and reach speeds of up to 350 km/h (220 mph)!
Toplst presents you a list of the 12 greatest drivers since Formula One started in 1950.
All the drivers listed below are already retired from racing.
12. Jack Brabham
Sir John Arthur “Jack” Brabham (born on April 2, 1926) is an Australian former racing driver who was Formula One champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name.
Poles: 13 (10.16%)
Wins: 14 (10.94%)
11. Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet Souto Maior (born on August 17, 1952), known as Nelson Piquet, is a Brazilian former racing driver and businessman. Since his retirement, Piquet has been ranked among the greatest Formula One drivers in various motorsports polls.
Poles: 24 (11.59%)
Wins: 23 (11.11%)
10. Mika Häkkinen
Mika Pauli Häkkinen (born on September 28, 1968) is a Finnish former racing driver and two-time Formula One World Champion.
Poles: 26 (15.76%)
Wins: 20 (12.12%)
9. Niki Lauda
Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda (born on February 22, 1949) is an Austrian former Formula One driver who was the three time F1 World Champion, winning in 1975, 1977 and 1984.
Lauda was seriously injured in a crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, during which his Ferrari burst into flames and he came close to death after inhaling hot toxic fumes and suffering severe burns. However he recovered and returned to race again just six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix. Scars from the injuries he suffered have left him permanently disfigured.
Poles: 24 (13.56%)
Wins: 25 (14.12%)
8. Nigel Mansell
Nigel Ernest James Mansell (born on August 8, 1953) is a British racing driver who won both the Formula One World Championship (1992) and the CART Indy Car World Series (1993). Mansell was the reigning F1 champion when he moved over to CART, becoming the first person to win the CART title in his debut season, and making him the only person to hold both titles simultaneously.
Poles: 32 (16.75%)
Wins: 31 (16.23%)
7. Alberto Ascari
Alberto Ascari (born on July 13, 1918) was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion. He is one of only two Italian Formula One World Champions in the history of the sport, and the only one to win his two championships in a Ferrari. Alberto Ascari had crashed fatally on 26 May 1955, at the age of 36.
Poles: 14 (42.42%)
Wins: 13 (39.39%)
6. Alain Prost
Alain Marie Pascal Prost (born on February 24, 1955) is a French racing driver. A four-time Formula One Drivers’ Champion, only Sebastian Vettel (four championships), Juan Manuel Fangio (five championships), and Michael Schumacher (seven championships) have equalled or surpassed his number of titles.
Poles: 33 (16.34%)
Wins: 51 (25.25%)
5. Jackie Stewart
Sir John Young “Jackie” Stewart (born on June 11, 1939) is a British former Formula One racing driver from Scotland. Nicknamed the “Flying Scot”, he competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers’ Championships.
Poles: 17 (17%)
Wins: 27 (27%)
4. Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher (born on January 3, 1969) is a retired German racing driver. Schumacher is a seven-time Formula One World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time.
In December 2013, Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing. He was airlifted to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma, having suffered a traumatic brain injury. As of 7 March 2014 Schumacher remained in a coma and in a critical but stable condition.
Poles: 68 (22.08%)
Wins: 91 (29.55%)
3. Jim Clark
James “Jim” (or “Jimmy”) Clark (born on March 4, 1936) was a British Formula One racing driver from Scotland, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965.
He was killed in a Formula Two motor racing accident in Hockenheim, Germany, in April 7 1968. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions than any other driver.
Poles: 33 (45.21%)
Wins: 25 (34.35%)
2. Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio (born on June 24, 1911) nicknamed El Chueco (“the bowlegged one”, also commonly translated as “bandy legged”) or El Maestro (“The Master”), was a racing car driver from Argentina, who dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Championship of Drivers five times.
He won the World Championship of Drivers five times with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati), a feat that has not been repeated. Fangio died in July 17 1955. A member of the Formula 1 Hall of Fame, he is regarded by many as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One – 46.15% – winning 24 of 52 Formula One races he entered.
Poles: 29 (55.77%)
Wins: 24 (46.15%)
1. Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna da Silva (born on March 21, 1960) was a Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships. On 1st May, he was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. He was among the most dominant and successful Formula One drivers of the modern era and is considered one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. He remains the most recent driver fatality in Formula One.
Poles: 65 (40.12%)
Wins: 41 (25.31%)