10 Greatest Auto Racing Drivers of All-Time

The 10 greatest Auto Racing drivers. Across NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and others.

The Top Ten

1 Ayrton Senna Ayrton Senna Ayrton Senna da Silva (21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships for McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991 and is regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand ...read more.

The greatest of all

He's undeniably the greatest

He's good because even when brazil was failing he still showed that he was one of them as many others tried to hide it

Simply the best, if sometimes flawed. Prost asked Ron Dennis who was the best driver him or Senna, Rons telling reply why Alain you are the best driver, Ayrton is faster!

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2 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher

Most complete F1 driver ever, almost won titles in '97 and '98 in a car that was a long way from the best on the grid, would have won the '99 title if didn't break his legs in accident caused by mechanical failure. Could have easily been 10 time world champion.
Senna best qualifier, Schumi best ever.

Legend

The most dominant driver ever. And one of the most underrated. Michael was a skilled driver. He had 91 wins, and 7 F1 championships.

There is no real difference between the top dozen or so'. some are better at some things, some better at others.. Put it this way; money on Senna to win a one lap dash (pole). Money on Schu or Prost to win unless it rains.. I admit have mot seen the drivers pre 1975

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3 Jim Clark

Pure class do smooth

When he was killed, I was certain in my 11-year-old mind that the news reports had to be wrong. I thought there was no way that Jim Clark could die in a race car, anywhere or any time.

No racing driver ever did what this man has.

Unlike Lewis Hamilton and some of the modern racing drivers Jim Clark competed very successfully in several classes of cars and for me that makes him the "most complete" racing driver

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4 Juan Manuel Fangio

The only best

Nobody will ever be that good.a true one off!

He is the best of all time. His records, % winning, poles, charisma, the respect he commanded from his peers, plus he survived the extremely dangerous times of racing in the 50s...

Very simple..."THE BEST"

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5 Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso

The Best all time driver

Prost+Senna=Alonso

2 time F1 world Champion
Le mans winner
Daytona 24 hour racing winner
What else needs to be said. Alonso not only has reached the pinnacle of motor racing in F1 but has also proved himself in endurance racing and led the Indy 500 until his engine let him down. Absolute GOAT

The only thing he needs to do to achieve the triple crown of motorsport is to win the Indy 500 and he's working hard for it. If you listen to the commentators, they described him as looking stressful.

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6 Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton is a British racing driver who races in Formula One for Mercedes AMG Petronas. A five-time Formula One World Champion, he is often considered the best driver of his generation and widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. He won his first World Championship ...read more.

We all know that it is only his skin color that has him this low. Top 3 for sure His record speaks for itself

5 Times world champion and broke almost all records speaks for its self. Naturally talented. Good ambassador for the United kingdom

Huge talent but always thanks his team and fans first

Best ever, dry or wet. Doesn't give excuses. Came from nothing father working 3 jobs. Not a millionaires son. Got through with sheer talent. Good man with good heart

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7 Alain Prost Alain Prost

Should be at least in 4th place

The "professor" loved watching him and Senna battle in the late 80's then Prost was at Ferrari (unfortunally Ferrari's v-12 and new semi automatic gearbox were unreliable) Things got better when Prost joined Senna at McLaren Honda (very reliable Honda v-10) and mix a little Williams Renault with hothead Nigel Mansell added to the fun. A calculating and methodical driver who could get the best out of his car, a smoother driver than Schumacher or senna. The best driver of the 80's early 90's. Later bought the Liger team renamed it Prost GP and had some success as an ownere with Oliver Panis as his driver.

8 Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel

To me, Seb is the best. He not only kills it on race day, but in my opinion is one of the greatest of all time over a single lap. He has been overshadowed by Hamilton in recent years, but I feel if you were to put Seb into one of those Silver Arrows, he'd be destroying Lewis.

Wonderful driving skill and keep going. Given him with a good car performance, Seb will fly all season!

Brill racer

The best!

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9 Dale Earnhardt Sr. Dale Earnhardt Sr. Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr., known professionally as Dale Earnhardt, was an American professional stock car racing driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR.

Have you ever seen a f1 driver clean his own windshield? While driving!

He was the best even after his death the number got carried to keivn harvert and he won the first race with it

"The Intimidator" is one of the most hardest guys you could ever race. He didn't let you by easily. He and Jeff Gordon had one of Racings best rivalries. He had 7 Championships and 76 wins, and may have gotten further had he not died in 2001.

Who ever made this list is crazy dale sr was way better then gordan

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10 Jean Alesi

Some flashes of brilliance in his time in F-1, never seemed to get a ride with a first tier team that was on par with his talents had one of the longest F-1 careers and the longest winless streak. I remember him for his time at Jordan GP an newer team if it just had the money and an works engine package could have given the big three teams a run for their money

The Contenders

11 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Jeffery Michael Gordon is an American former professional stock car racing driver, currently an announcer for Fox NASCAR, and a top executive for Hendrick Motorsports.

Perhaps more car control than any other stock car driver. His intensity and passion made him a joy to watch. A victim of constantly changing rules and gimmicky championship formats in the later half of his career kept him from more titles. All you can look at is the wins. 94 ain't too shabby!

The most skilled driver ever. He is also one of NASCAR's gentlemen drivers. He is the most successful in modern era, with 88 wins, 4 championships, and 3 Daytona 500's. He is also a very underrated driver. Could have been ranked higher if he could just get that 5th Championship.

Hands down the most skilled driver ever. And one of racings gentlemen drivers. With 88 wins and 4 Championships and 3 Daytona 500 wins in NASCAR, he's not slowing down.

Gordon won 4 championships. If the Chase never existed, he would be a 7 time champion.

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12 Sebastian Loeb

Only 3 words "Simply the Best"

Simply the best

The only reason FIA denied his F1 Super License was that they didn't want him to dominate F1 too. There was really no compelling reason to do so other than politics and money.

Dominant, in probably the most difficult of all racing formats. One of the most amazing drivers of all time.

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13 A. J. Foyt

The only thing he didn't win, practically, was Formula One World Championship, which he never even tried. Perhaps he lost interest after winning his first and only le Mans? How he isn't in the top five is beyond me.

Foyt should be in the top 5, not outside the top 10.

Should be in top three of all time

4 Indy 500- 1 Daytona 500- 1 24 hrs at Le Mans. That says it all

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14 Mario Andretti

Over 109 wins on a major circuit. he remains the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship, he has also won 4 Indy car championships
How is this guy number 14. Since Mario has won an Indy car race in 4 different decades the voters must be very young.

The Best, hands down!

I don't understand how Mario is ranked at 14th, should definitely be in the top 5.

If this was greatest F1 driver, or NASCAR driver, or Sports Car Driver, there are some who could outrank Mario. But the fact of the matter is, Mario won in everything he ever drove. Formula1 (world champ), IndyCar (500 winner & champion), Sports Cars, Dirt Cars, NASCAR, hell, he even won the Pikes Peak hill climb. He won on ovals, road courses, dirt, gravel, street courses -- every doggone thing. No one else on this list can claim that.

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15 Tom Kristensen

With 9 winnings and several podiums By far the most winning 24h Le Mans driver in history

He is Le Mans! He is the best endurance driver ever!

The best

Mr. le mans? clearly top 10 greatest endurance racer of all time

16 Tazio Nuvolari

He should be number 1 of all time.

Dominant driver in his time. The golden age of motor-racing.

18? Research the guy. 18th no way!

Surely one of the top 3. Nuvolari, Fangio, Clark.

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17 Ken Block

Hello kB

Dude! He’s Ken Block!

18 Colin McRae

Rally legend of all time

A true racing hero and a true champion on and off the track

Colin is by far the best Car Driver the World has ever seen! Forget the rest... to drive a car in no controlled conditions... all types of terrain... He is number 1...

Best rally driver of all time

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19 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Kenneth Johnson is an American professional stock car racing driver and a six-time champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Jimmie is incredible, he has 6 championships to his name and 2 Daytona 500 wins also. He went from pretty much the back of the field after a spin to finish a fighting third place. He could very well have 10 championships at this rate. Anything is possible...

Jimmie has 7 titles, 80 wins and he's only halfway through his career. I wouldn't be surprised if I got 106 wins and 10 titles. He is always calm on the radio, and he's always finding new ways. He should easily be 1-3.

This should be number 4 best racer ever!

#14? You kidding? He already passed Dale Sr. Should be #2 behind Petty.

20 Stirling Moss

Stirling Moss Should be one of the top four along with Ascari, Clarke and Fangio

Surely one of the very best.

21 Juan Pablo Montoya

I'm no fair weather fan. JPM is my driver! Been following him since his first lap in Nascar. His son is following in his footsteps. Great dad!

IndyCar Race Victories 12 (10 CART), 2 Indianapolis 500 wins, IndyCar Championships 1 (CART, 1999), Formula One Race Victories 7, 24 Hours of Daytona Winner, Grand Prix of Monaco Winner, Grand Prix of Long Beach Winner, Italian Grand Prix Winner, NASCAR Rookie of the Year. Equals Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney by winning races in Indy cars, Formula One cars and NASCAR Cup cars.

Has won in more competitions than any pther driver in the world

22 Gilles Villeneuve Gilles Villeneuve

Too much a gentleman, he could have won instead of being second in the championship.

Pure, raw talent and respect for his sport, like no one else has ever shown!

The most skilled driver the F1 has ever seen.

'Why do we bother? He's different from the rest of us. On a separate level'."

23 Peter Brock

Peter brocks one of the most influential touring car racers of all time in my opinion

I went to Bathurst in 1987 and in the rain I have never seen driving like it. Brock beat the worlds best drivers that day.

A legend in the wet and one that was at one with a car that had no down force causing a car to constantly four wheel drift under full throttle. No one else ever has won a race like Bathurst, the best track world wide before it was tamed by 6 laps.

Legend of Australian Motorsport

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24 Tanner Foust

Almost drifted a city bus

He my favorite drifter/rally racer he should be way higher on the list he can drift better than other top drifters

Tanner should be much higher

He's simply the best

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25 Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Anthony Wayne Stewart, nicknamed Smoke, is an American former professional stock car racing driver and is currently a NASCAR team owner.

Nobody else has ever won in as much as Tony has. Karts, Sprints, midgets, Indy, NASCAR, Tony has dominated it all. I don’t know why he’s not a top 5 pick. Only driver EVER to win Indy car and NASCAR championships. Will never be duplicated. His 2011 title run was something absolutely special. Tony is the GOAT.

Only driver to win championships in both NASCAR and IndyCar. Saw him win in person in a car that did not have the speed that any of the other cars had (Sonoma 2016). Also very successful in sprint cars

Should be much higher on this list personally I believe somewhere between 8th and 10th he was the first USAC triple crown winner and is still the only person to win both an Indy car title and a cup title but unfortunately people don't recognize pure driving skill when it comes to this list because if they did Foyt would be 1st

Goat

26 Mark Donohue

Dominated the American Trans Am series, winning titles for Chevrolet in the Camaro twice and for American Motors Company in the Javelin. Winner of the 1972 Indianapolis 500. Dominate the Canadian American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) series in the Porsche 917/30.

27 Walter Röhrl

Best driver off the Ahold universe

Dominated in his time.

Best Rally driver of all time.

28 Travis Pastrana

Lives flat out

29 Jenson Button

He can be added in the list of top 5

Just good

30 Jacky Ickx

He has won 8 races in F1 and came 2nd in the championship twice, 6 times the 24 hours of Le Mans, 1 time the Bathurst 1000 and the Dakar rally. What else to say...

31 Graham Hill

One of the best British drivers ever. And I believe the only father and son (Damon Hill) to have been F-1 world champions

A 2-Time F1 World Champion and the only driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport. (Indy, Monaco and Le Mans. )

32 Stefan Bellof

Know for driving the "fastest" car in the world on nurburgring with an unbeaten time of 6:11.13

Holds the all-time lap record at Nurburgring's Nordschleife, podium at Monaco in the only non-turbo car on the grid(and was catching 1st), and the 1984 WSC Champion to name a few accomplishments.

33 Jackie Stewart

One of the most dominant racers of his (or any) time, the Flying Scot also saved the lives of many drivers through his activism to add safety features to the sport. Twenty-seven of his 99 Formula One starts were wins, a record that stood for fourteen years.

34 Petter Solberg
35 Antoine L'Estage

In the last 15 years he's won the Canadian Rally Championship 10 times, and finished 2nd on four occasions.That's how you dominate a sport.

36 Ronnie Peterson Ronnie Peterson

One of Sweden's best drivers, he deserves a place on this list.

37 Toomas Heikkinen
38 Ivan "Ironman" Stewart

I guess all the formula one people can't look past the tarmac to see the best racers ever, Ivan Stewart & Colin Mcrea. Also Block and Faust are of their likeness of today. Let's see the F1 boy's race, snow, ice, mud, gravel, bad tarmac, dirt, sand, hail, water hazard's and do all those extreme sport extras.

39 Will Power
40 Alessandro Islam

6 times go-karting champion

41 Carroll Shelby

If not for his heart condition, he would be remembered more for his accomplishments behind the wheel instead of the fabulous cars he built.

I agree. Without him, modern racing wouldn't exist. - MattAffterburner

Changed auto racing forever.

42 Al Unser

This guy is one of only 4 people to win the Indy 500 4 times,

43 David Higgins
44 Sverre Isachsen
45 Yvan Muller
46 Dan Wheldon

Indy car champion perhaps. Not world champion

What a driver he was! Won 2 Indy 500s and the 2005 world champion. Sadly he is not with us anymore.

R.I.P Dan

47 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick

Performed very good for years at the declining RCR before getting to show what he is truly made of at Stewart-Haas competing for wins and finishing up front pretty much every race since that change winning 1 title so far and finishing 2nd the other time by 1 point.

48 Nelson Piquet
49 Michael Andretti

Someone mixed him up with Mario

50 Richard Petty

Should be higher than anyone else on the list from nascar. BEST NASCAR DRIVER EVER.

The King.

NASCAR's greatest driver ever, and one of racing's bravest and toughest ever. He could win anywhere, anytime. With 200 wins, and 7 championships. Including 7 wins in NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500. May have been #1 if he could have continued it through the last 7 years of his career, where he didn't win a race.

NASCAR's greatest driver. He is easily the most dominant in racing, with 200 wins and 7 Championships. He is one of racings bravest and toughest drivers. He also won NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500,7 times.

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List Stats

1,000 votes
51 listings
5 years, 263 days old

Top Remixes

1. Ayrton Senna
2. Michael Schumacher
3. Juan Manuel Fangio
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