In Formula 1, Formula1

This is a list and not a ranking, if I had to choose with my heart Senna would always be first….

Ayrton SennaAyrton Senna

Senna is considered the greatest F1 driver ever, surpassing among fans Fangio, Ascari, Hamilton, Clark, Schumacher, Prost, Farina, Stewart, Verstappen, Lauda and any other F1 driver. Ayrton won three World Championships with McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Senna won 41 of the 162 races he entered, with a success rate of 25.3 percent. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to witness Ayrton on the track can only acknowledge his exceptional driving skills and unparalleled charisma–pure magic.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Fangio, a humble and friendly gentleman, was known to always be in the right car at the right time. This irritated Enzo Ferrari, who valued above all total loyalty to his team. Perhaps Fangio was the only driver greater than Ferrari. He was also the oldest driver to win a title in 1957 at the age of 46. Fangio won five world titles, a record that lasted for 46 years until it was surpassed by Michael Schumacher. Impressive the number of races won 24, in relation to the Grands Prix held 52 (with 51 Starts). Fangio won 46 percent of the GPs he raced in.

Jim Clark

Clark was one of the most unassuming men ever to sit in an F1 cockpit, but probably the most singularly gifted driver of all time. He won two F1 world championships, in 1963 and 1965, and also won the 1965 Indianapolis 500. In the 1963 Belgian Grand Prix, Clark won by nearly five minutes over the second-place finisher, the widest gap on record. Clark won 25 of the 72 races he entered, with a 34.7 percent success rate.

Stirling Moss

Moss remains the quintessential English gentleman, a storyteller, an adventurer, and an unparalleled driver. Although he has never won a world title, Moss holds the title of all-time world vice-champion; in fact, he was second in the championship in the years 1955 to 1958 and was third in the world championship standings three times. Moss won 16 of the 66 races he entered, with a 24.2 percent success rate.

Jackie Stewart

Stewart, known as the “Flying Scot,” won three world titles in 1969 with Matra and in 1971 and 1973 with Tyrrell. Stewart has won 27 of the 99 races he has entered, with a success rate of 27.3 percent. He retired perhaps too early after an accident involving then-teammate Cevert, fought later to improve car safety, and is still actively involved in F1.

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher, the unforgettable champion, won a whopping 7 World Championships apiece, as did Hamilton. The first two World Championships, those of 1994 and 1995, came at the wheel of Benetton; the others were Ferrari’s. With Todt, Rory Birne and Ross Brawn give the Maranello team and its fans 5 World Championships and an era, for many, unrepeatable. He is the most titled driver in the history of Formula 1. Schumacher has won 91 of the 308 races he has participated in, with a 29.5 percent success rate.

Niki Lauda

Lauda, known for his rivalry with James Hunt and his miraculous comeback after a terrible accident in 1976, won three world titles in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and in 1984 with La McLaren.
Lauda won 25 of the 177 races he entered, with a success rate of 14.1 percent.
Niki left an indelible mark on the world of motorsport, which he frequented by holding various positions even after his farewell to racing.

Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet, born Aug. 17, 1952, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of Formula 1’s greatest drivers but often underestimated. He won the world championship three times with two different teams, Brabham and Williams between 1978 and 1991. Piquet began his career in karting, becoming Brazilian national champion in 1971-72. He went on to win the Formula Vee championship in 1976. Piquet made his Formula 1 debut in 1978 and found a permanent home in the Brabham team in 1979. During his years with Brabham, Piquet won two championships 1981 and 1983 and set a record of nine pole positions in 1984. Piquet won 23 of the 207 races held representing 11 percent of the starts.

Alain Prost

Prost, is by right one of the greatest drivers in history with 4 World Championships won (1985, 1986, 1989, 1993) with Mclaren the first three and with Williams The last.
He became probably only the third driver-after Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher-to exert enough force of personality on the Scuderia Ferrari to build the team convincingly around himself. Prost won 51 of the 199 races he entered, with a success rate of 25.6 percent. Nicknamed the Professor for his meticulous approach to racing his rivalry with Senna was among the most compelling and controversial pages of 20th-century F1.

Gilles Villeneuve

Gilles Villeneuve, despite never winning a championship, won the hearts of Formula 1 fans. He was known for his spectacular and courageous driving style, which often saw him push his car beyond its limits. Villeneuve competed in Formula 1 for Ferrari from 1977 to 1982, and although his career was relatively short, he left a lasting impression on the motorsport world. His son Jacques will succeed in the feat that had eluded him by becoming Formula 1 world champion in 1997 with La Williams.

Fernando Alonso

Alonso, victorious twice with his Benetton with which he was world champion in 2005 and 2006 is one of the most successful drivers of the current era. Fernando failed to win the world championship with Ferrari touching it three times, finishing second overall in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He ran 377 races and achieved 106 podiums. He won 32 Grand Prix with a start-to-win ratio of 8.5%.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton, one of the highest paid sportsmen in the world, is one of the most successful drivers ever with 7 World Championships like Schumacher.
He ran 332 races and achieved 197 podiums. Hamilton has won 103 of the 332 races he has participated in, with a success rate of 35.7 percent.
his seven titles in the 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons were all won in Mercedes apart from the first one in 2008 in which Lewis was driving a McLaren. Lewis is a Formula 1 icon, a global superstar with a huge reach that makes him one of the world’s most marketable athletes.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel was the youngest driver to win a title in 2010 at the age of 23 years and 134 days. He ran 299 races and achieved 122 podiums and 53 victories with a 17.7 percent success rate. He managed to win the Italian Grand Prix in his second year in F1 driving Toro Ross, a circumstance that earned him a move to Red Bull and made his fortune . He won 4 World titles for the Austrian team between 2010 and 2013. In 2015 he switched to Ferrari with whom he came close to the title for twovolte, finishing second in the championship in 2017 and 2018. His career continues at Aston Martin until his retirement in 2023.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

Max Emilian Verstappen was born on September 30, 1997, in Hasselt, Belgium. He won the F1 world championship in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Considering his age and approach, he seems destined to demolish all records. Verstappen made his Formula 1 debut at the age of 17, becoming the youngest driver in the category ever. He won his first race at 18 years and 228 days, during the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Max is known for his instinctive and aggressive driving style, which at times has put him at odds with his colleagues-everyone remembers his spats with Hamilton or Ocon, just to name a couple. In 2023, Verstappen won 19 races out of the 22 run twice he finished second and once fifth…. A steamroller that allowed him to record the most points disempre in a single Formula 1 season. With 185 races run and 54 wins he records a 29.2 percent win percentage, and considering RedBull’s age and competitiveness the numbers can only get better.

Each driver on the list has left an indelible mark on Formula 1 history with their extraordinary skills, unique personalities and fascinating stories. These are certainly the best Formula 1 drivers of all time.

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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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