Greatest Ever: Formula One: Top Ten Drivers of All Time

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Greatest Ever: Formula One: Top Ten Drivers of All Time

The sixth installment of my Greatest Ever series is here!

In this series I will look at the greatest talents to grace various sports.

This time I look at Formula One, and the greatest drivers the sport has ever seen. Enjoy!

 

10. Jack Brabham (AUS) - Jack Brabham is a three-time World Champion, who won two World Championships back-to-back in 1959 and 1960. He raced 128 times in his 15-year career, winning 14 of those races and achieving 31 podium finishes.

His 1966 World Championship triumph was extra special as he became the only man to win a Formula One World Championship with one of his own cars.

 

9. Nelson Piquet (BRA) - Another one of the handful of drivers to win three World Championships, all of Piquet's triumphs came in the 1980s.

In his 207 races, he recorded 23 wins and 60 podium finishes. He also won 481.5 points in his career, a total not many have surpassed.

 

8. Alberto Ascari (ITA) - Some would argue that Ascari doesn't deserve to be on this list; others would say he should be higher up. He may have only raced 33 times, but he still managed to win two World Championships.

The main reason he is on this list, though, is his win percentage. He won 13 of his 33 races, including seven in a row in one season, a record equaled only by Michael Schumacher.

He also achieved 17 podium finishes.

 

7. Niki Lauda (AUS) -  Lauda is another of the small group to have won three World Championships, with nine years between his first and last Championship wins.

He won 25 of his 177 races, finishing on the podium a total of 54 times. He competed with five different manufacturers, with two of his Championships coming at Ferrari and his last coming after a return to the sport with McLaren.

 

6. Sir Jackie Stewart (SCO) - "The Flying Scot" is another three-time World Champion. All his Championships wins came for Tyrell in 1969, 1971, and 1973.

He won 27 of his 100 races, getting on the podium 43 times, which means that he's finished in the top three in 47 percent of his races.

He remains the only man to win a World Championship in a French-built car.

 

5. Jim Clark (SCO) - The dominant driver of his era, he was the predecessor to Jackie Stewart, winning the World Championship in 1963 and 1965.

He died in a crash in 1968 while racing in Germany after just eight years of racing. Without the accident, he probably would have added to his two World Championships.

He won 25 of his 73 races, more than a third, and found himself on the podium 32 times.

 

4. Alain Prost (FRA) - A four-time World Champion, only two men have won more than Alain Prost. He had a notable rivalry with teammate Ayrton Senna while at McLaren.

He won 51 of his 202 races, with 106 appearances on the podium. The 768 career Championship points he achieved is the second highest total in F1 history. His 51 wins is also the second highest total of wins in history.

 

3. Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) - The first superstar of Formula One, Fangio dominated the 1950s, winning all of his five World Championships in that decade.

His record of five World Championships stood for 46 years, and his record of winning five Championships with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes and Ferrari) still stands to this day.

He won four Championships in a row form 1954-1957 and won nearly half of the races he competed in (24 of 52). He also appeared on the podium 35 times.

 

2. Ayrton Senna (BRA) - The last driver to be killed while driving an F1 car, Senna is considered by many to be the greatest ever. His tragic end was watched by millions on live TV as they saw a great of the sport succumb to an early death.

A joy to watch on and off the track, Senna won his three World Championships in 1988, 1990 and 1991. He won 41 of his 162 races and reached the podium 60 times.

Although his statistics are perhaps eclipsed by others, as a driver there were few, if any, better.

 

1. Michael Schumacher (GER) - His domination of his sport can be compared to that of Tiger Woods or Roger Federer. However, unlike those two, Schumacher has made it as the best in my opinion.

When he got in full swing, the records started tumbling. He holds the record for most World Championships (seven), most consecutive World Championships (five), most race victories (91), most fastest laps (76), most pole positions (68), most points scored (1,369) and most races won in a single season (13). He is also the only driver to have achieved an entire season of podium finishes, on his way to his 154 podium finishes.

Overall, Schumacher holds 31 Formula One records.

Although often a controversial driver, Schumacher has, in my view, done enough to be considered the best of all-time in his sport.

 

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