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Top Ten Formula One Drivers

Updated on January 3, 2016
Formula One Drivers
Formula One Drivers

Formula One Drivers

The FIA Formula One World Championship first started in the year 1950 and is now more commonly called Formula One or F1. Formula One refers to the world’s fastest multi-turn circuit racing cars that consists of 22 drivers, 11 constructors and 11 teams. Each year a series of races takes place across the world at various specific locations that contain formula one tracks especially built for this kind of racing. At the end of each year or season, the results are tabulated such that points are allotted according to constructor’s championships and drivers championships. These cars have tremendous racing speeds of up to 350 km/h and super fast turn corners at top speeds owing to its aerodynamic down force.

Formula One or Grand Prix racing requires huge amounts of investments and sponsors. Grand Prix events mostly take place over the weekend with practice sessions being held on Fridays and Saturdays. Each team uses only two cars of each type. Qualifying sessions take place after the last practice session and this also determines the driver’s position in the final race. Each track has a specific number of laps to be completed. The winner of the race is the first driver to cross the finishing line after all the allotted laps are completed. Pit stops are allowed to refuel and change tires etc. Points are awarded for each position. The total number of points won at each race are added and the driver and constructor at the end of each year with maximum number of points is declared World Champions.

Below is a list of top ten F1 world champions with maximum number of championships:

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher is a German F1 driver who is a 7 time Formula One World Champion with the maximum number of championships. He is considered one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. He holds records for the fastest laps, pole positions, maximum races won in a single season, maximum consecutive podium finishes and so on. He won 2 world championship races with Benetton and 5 with Ferrari. He later had a 3 year contract with Mercedes-Benz. He won in all 91 races and is currently retired and is 44 years of age.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Juan Manuel Fangio represented Argentina and was a 5 time Formula One World Champion. His record was unbeaten for 46 years until Michael Schumacher topped it with 7 Championship wins. This was the longest ever record. He raced for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati. He was a member of the Formula One Hall of Fame. He was considered one of the greatest Formula One drivers of his time. He won 24 races in all and died at the age of 84.

Alain Prost

Alain Prost is a French Formula One driver and a 4 time Formula One World driver’s Champion. He was technically skilled at the sport and could set up his car for race conditions. He raced for McLaren, Renault, Ferrari and Williams. He retired in 1993 and is currently 58 years old. He won 51 races in all.

John Brabham

Sir John (Jack) Brabham is an Australian national Formula One World Champion. He won 3 Formula One World driver’s championships. He has won a total of 14 races for Cooper, Rob Walker Racing Team and Brabham. He was a Royal Australian flight mechanic for the Air Force. He is 87 years old and retired in 1970.

John Young Stewart

Sir John Young Stewart or Jackie Stewart as he was known was a former British Formula One driver with 3 Formula One World driver’s Championships. He won a total of 27 races for BRM and Tyrell. He was also called the Flying Scott and was ranked 5th among 50 greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He is retired and is 74 years of age.

Nikolaus Lauda

Andreas Nikolaus Lauda is a former Austrian Formula One driver and a 3 time winner of the Formula One World driver’s championships. He won a total of 25 races in his F1 career and raced for March, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham and McLaren teams. He was the founder of two airlines, managed the Jaguar team for a period of two years and is currently an acting non-executive chairman for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. He is 64 years of age and retired in 1985.

Nelson Piquet

Nelson Piquet is a former Brazilian Formula One driver. He won the Formula One World driver’s championships 3 times. He won a total of 23 races and raced for Ensign, McLaren, Brabham, Williams, Lotus and Benetton. He is currently retired and is 60 years of age.

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna da Silva was a former Brazilian Formula One driver who lost his life in an accident during a race. He won 3 Formula One World driver’s championships and died at a very young age of 34 years. He was considered one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. In his short career, he had 41 wins to his name and raced for Toleman, Lotus, McLaren and Williams. He held a record for maximum pole positions. He will always be remembered for his contribution to the world of Formula One racing.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel is a German origin Formula One driver who is currently the world champion. He won 3 consecutive Formula One World Championships since 2010. He is only 25 years old and is the youngest driver to win the Formula One World driver’s Championship. He won 29 races and raced for the team Red Bull-Renault. He holds several records for being the youngest ever to win a race, to secure pole position, to lead a race etc.

Alberto Ascari

Alberto Ascari was a former Italian Formula One driver who won 2 World driver’s Championships. He won a total of 13 races and raced for Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia. He is no more and was killed during a race. He will be cherished for his contribution to Formula One.

© 2013 Dilip Chandra


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    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      Thank you jmoboy1 for going through my hub. Am glad you had an interesting read.

    • jmoboy1 profile image

      jmoboy1 4 years ago from Oxford

      Thanks for your Hub; an interesting read. John Young Stewart - Jackie Stewart? I learn something new every day!

      I have to disagree with many of your choices though. Schumacher, Fangio, Senna, Prost, Lauda - sure. But Piquet, Vettel and Ascari?

      Piquet won in cars that were the best of his time. The same could be said of Vettel (who isn't even the best F1 driver around today - Alonso and Hamilton are) and Ascari - won 2 world championships when the championship was between formula 2 cars?

      Hmm. What about the great Jim Clark? Many say he was the fastest of all time. Stirling Moss? Fernando Alonso? (to name but a few) might have also been worthy of consideration.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      Hello Elias Zanetti thank you for stopping by. You are absolutely true about the best drivers... :)

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Very interesting list, indeed! Being a fan of Ayrton Senna however I believe that the highest number of championships doesn't mean necessarily a better driver. thanks for sharing!

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      Thank you Kieran Gracie for stopping by and leaving your kind comment. That is just a list of drivers with maximum number of championships. Well, definitely there are many drivers who were best in the game and however, couldn't secure any titles.

    • profile image

      Kieran Gracie 4 years ago

      A very interesting list, dilipchandra12, and one destined to cause some controversy! If you define a top racing driver simply by the number of world championships won then you have listed quite a lot of them, although others such as Alonso have also won at least two championships. Then what about Stirling Moss, considered by many to be one of the best racing drivers of all time, even though he never won a championship (there were good reasons why this was the case)? Or Jim Clark, who I think was a better driver than Jackie Stewart?

      Well done for stirring up this whole subject, and I hope it leads to lots of arguments! Voted up and shared.