Ranking the 32 Formula 1 World Champions

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Ranking the 32 Formula 1 World Champions
Associated Press
Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

In 64 Formula One World Championship seasons, there have been 32 different Drivers' champions.

Even between drivers who competed directly against each other, there are debates among the followers of the sport about who is better. Juan Manuel Fangio or Alberto Ascari? Ayrton Senna or Alain Prost? Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso? There are no easy answers.

Here, we are going to rank not only the drivers of a particular era, but every world champion from 1950 to 2013.

To do so, we cannot rely on subjective, qualitative assessments. F1 is completely different today from what it was in 1980. And it was completely different in 1980 from what it was in 1950.

Instead, we will use a quantitative assessment. It may not provide a definitive answer to whether Senna was a better driver than Prost, and it certainly will not tell us whether Fangio would beat Schumacher in the same car in their respective primes.

By adjusting the statistics to account for shorter seasons in the early years and different point systems over time, however, we should be able to make a decent comparison between all 32 champs.

Before we begin, here is the methodology.

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