The 10 Hottest Winning Streaks in F1 History
Sebastian Vettel is doing everything he can to wrap up a fourth successive drivers’ title well before the end of the 2013 F1 season.
The German has been in a class of his own this season with seven wins, including five wins in his last six races.
He has some way to go to match the dominance of 2011, when he became the first F1 driver in history to score six wins and two second-place finishes in the first eight of the season en route to wrapping up the title with four races to spare.
Vettel’s winning streaks are becoming so regular that many fans are getting bored by his dominance, with a minority of them booing his weekly podium celebrations.
But Vettel is not the first driver to take an F1 season by storm and certainly won’t be the last. Here then are 10 of the greatest winning streaks in the history of F1 racing.
Honourable Mention: Jochen Rindt 1970
Jochen Rindt became F1’s first, and hopefully last, posthumous world champion when he was tragically killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
Before that, Rindt had dominated the F1 season, winning five out of six races in Monaco, Holland, France, Britain and Germany.
10. Jackie Stewart 1969
Unquestionably the most dominant of Jackie Stewart’s three world titles was his first in 1969.
Driving a Matra MS80-Cosworth, Stewart won five of the first six Grands Prix races of the season. It could easily have been six, but for his retirement in Monaco.
The scale of Stewart’s dominance was highlighted at Montjuic, where he won by two laps; at Clermont-Ferrand, where he won by a minute; and at Silverstone, where he won by a lap.
9. Juan-Manuel Fangio 1954
The great Juan-Manuel Fangio won no less than five world drivers’ titles between 1951 and 1957 for four different teams.
Fangio holds the highest winning percentage in F1 history, having won 24 of the 52 races he entered for a 46 percent success rate.
His most dominant seasons came in 1954, when he won six of the eight races that year, and in 1955, when he won four of the six championship races. although Mercedes teammate Stirling Moss often credits Fangio with letting him win his home race at Aintree.
8. Jenson Button 2009
Before his current winning streak, Sebastian Vettel finished as runner-up to Brawn’s Jenson Button in 2009 after a late charge.
But the damage had already been done. Button won six of the first seven races, as his team exploited a clever loophole in the regulations with its innovative double-diffuser system.
Red Bull caught up towards the end of the year, but Button held on to win by 11 points over Vettel.
7. Sebastian Vettel 2011
As mentioned to start out, Sebastian Vettel’s dominant 2011 title-winning season has to make this top 10.
Vettel won six of the first eight races of the season and five of the last eight races to romp to a second drivers' title by a massive 122 points over McLaren’s Jenson Button.
6. Nigel Mansell 1992
Adrian Newey’s Red Bull is currently the dominant car of the field, but his Williams FW14B is widely regarded as the most technologically advanced car the sport has ever seen.
Its semi-automatic gearbox, active suspension and traction control helped Nigel Mansell obliterate the field in 1992.
Mansell won the opening five races of the season with only the masterful defence of Ayrton Senna keeping him at bay in Monaco. He won five more races in 1992 to become the first driver to win 10 races in a single season, wrapping up the title with five races to spare.
Only Alberto Ascari and Michael Schumacher have more straight F1 wins with Jim Clark and Jack Brabham, tying Mansell with five, but Mansell’s task was made that much easier because his equipment was so superior to the others.
5. Jack Brabham 1960
Australia’s Jack Brabham captured three F1 drivers’ titles between 1959 and 1966, but by far the easiest of them was his second one in 1960 while driving for Cooper.
Brabham started the season badly with a retirement in Argentina and then spun out in Monaco before starting a run of five straight victories.
4. Jim Clark 1965
Jim Clark romped to victory in seven of the season’s 10 races in winning his first world title in 1963, but he was even more dominant two years later, winning six of the first seven Grand Prix events.
It could well have been seven of seven had Clark not skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to race at Indianapolis instead, where he also won.
In both 1963 and 1965, Clark equaled Alberto Ascari’s record for the highest percentage of possible championship points in a season at 100 percent.
He was such a dominant force in 1965 that he also won almost everything else he entered outside F1 including the Sebring Three Hour sportscar race, the French Formula Two Championship and the Tasman Cup series run for older F1 cars.
3. McLaren 1988
The 1988 Formula One season will best be remembered for the titanic battle between McLaren car teammates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost that saw Senna clinch his first world drivers’ title.
Although the drivers’ title was decided in Suzuka with a storming drive from Senna through the field after he had stalled on the grid, the constructors’ title was over much earlier.
Such was McLaren’s dominance on the track, as they won 15 of 16 races. It would have been a clean sweep had Senna not been T-boned off the circuit by the Williams entry of Jean-Louis Schlesser whilst leading with just two laps remaining.
2. Alberto Ascari 1952
One of the most iconic names in the history of Ferrari, the legendary Alberto Ascari was in a class of his own in a dominant 1952 season, winning all six races he participated in en route to the title.
In so doing, Ascari set the fastest lap in every race and finished the season with the maximum amount of points he could have achieved.
He won five more times in 1953 to claim his second title and then switched from Ferrari to Lancia towards the end of the 1954 season following a pay dispute.
1. Michael Schumacher 2004
Unquestionably the most impressive winning streak in the history of the sport belongs to Michael Schumacher.
The German dominated the 2004 season to the point of monotonous tedium, winning 12 of the first 13 races of the season. It would have been 13 out of 13 had he not crashed out whilst leading the Monaco Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel may be in a class of his own at the moment, but surely, this is a feat that is beyond even him and his Red Bull.
Have I missed any winning streaks out you think should be in there or even got the order wrong? We value your comments so please join in the debate below.