Formula 1: Statistically Ranking the Top 10 Champions of All Time

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Formula 1: Statistically Ranking the Top 10 Champions of All Time
Michael Steele/Getty Images

With over 60 years of World Championship Grands Prix behind us, we'll never know who really was, or is, the greatest driver of all time. Such comparisons of vastly different generations are impossible, with the cars, competitors and circuits unrecognisable now from those of the past.

But still we create lists and debate endlessly the qualities of Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Fangio and Clark.  Opinion-based lists are everywhere, so I have taken a different approach—purely a statistical one—creating my rankings from a simple formula.

((wins*5)+(poles*2)+(fastest laps*1)) / races started

That formula is number of wins (multiplied by five), plus the number of pole positions (multiplied by two), plus the number of fastest laps. Then divide the final figure by the number of races the driver started. Those numbers just seemed right to me.

Of course, while statistics never lie, they never tell the full story either. So take my top 10 as I intend it to be taken—an article of interest, and nothing more.

The final slide contains additional information and thoughts.

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