Best Formula 1 Drivers of All Time

The Top Ten

1 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 more.

Brilliant, ruthless, determined, fast and charismatic. Just some of the superlatives that some up the greatest driver Formula 1 has ever seen.

Ayrton ushered in a more professional approach to fittness and absolute dedication to the sport. He had to win and be the best... as Jo Ramirez said in the documentary "Right to Win", "For him it was nothing but winning - to him him coming second was to be the first of the losers. "

Senna, also possessed the supreme ability to utilise every part of the track and find speed from absolutely nowhere. He was unquestionably the best driver ever in wet weather conditions. One only has to remember Donnington in 1993 where Ayrton went from fifth to first before the end of the first lap!

Obviously the numbers favor Schumacher, but those who followed Senna's career know that his talent was phenomenal. Outqualified the very talented Prost by up to 1.5 seconds in the same car, was otherworldly in the wet, amazing nerve, drive and car control, the like of which we have never seen before, and may never see again. Certainly the fastest F1 driver ever, not always the best strategy, went for wins rather than places points, "as a professional race car driver I am programmed to win" won a Formula 3 (against other F1 up and comers) with no front brakes, many almost unbelievable stories about the guy, but they are true.

Absolutely the best, fast, charismatic and talent driver ever.

Absolutely NO QUESTION! Senna was the best racing driver of all times.

2 Michael Schumacher

His stats speaks for it self but unfortunately there was a few controversial things he done throughout his career which has tarnished him and probably stopped him from being the greatest of all time. His car control was absolutely fantastic though, either racing in wet or dry conditions he left his rivals standing

No other driver in his position and with his standing has volunterry left his winning team to take two steps back with his change to ferrari. His ability to drive the cars on the absolute limit pushes the strategic opportunities to a new level. A level where no other driver could compete against him.

An out of this world driver. Would've loved to see him and hamilton racing at their peak!

No other driver changed F1 so much. Starting with physical preparation, which today's standards were set by him. Following with his full commitment with his teams (specially in the low moments) and, finally with his capability to drive the car on the limit for as many laps as needed during the races, making strategy a new field to work on. He turned F1 into a professional sport, not just the worldwide show it used to be before.

3 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 more.

Lewis get's a lot of hate but a vast majority is not for his performance or any good reason. Some people Do not like him Because they are jealous of his success and he has never driven for their preferred team, or because of his dominance at time's, hopefully that will subside when he retires and he will get more of the respect he deserves, This was the case to a lesser degree with Michael Schumacher. Much of the other criticism revolves around his off track lifestyle, something that in the past has been celebrated with other drivers, Jet setting playboy F1 drivers had previously been part of the sports appeal, but with Lewis, having other interests and a celebrity presence has been frowned upon, I hate to say it but that probably stems from the last reason some people do not like him, his race. A lot of his detractors would never admit it but if Lewis Hamilton was white or maybe even Latin he would probably be at the top of this list. No other driver has ever had so many people make ...more

How can any one think Hamilton is not the best current driver and close to GOAT, world championships speak for themselves, if any Team wins the premier league over the course of the season no one has the right to say they didn't deserve it because they have proved themselves over many games, same goes for Hamilton, he has proven himself again and again, most poles of all time, second most world championships, if he does go on to equal or pass Schumacher why would he not be considered better than him, also how can he possibly be rated below Alonso, when they were racing together he blew Alonso out of the water, some people on her commented Hamilton has always had the best car, a lot of the time he has, but so has his team mate so why didn't the do so well.

I think many people are unjustifiably harsh on Lewis, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Great champions like Lewis can win under any circumstances and raise their game under intense pressure, unlike some ranked higher on this list who can only be relied upon to whine and blame others when the going gets tough, or crack under pressure and make mistakes.

Hell, even the highly regarded Fernando Alonso thinks Hamilton is one of the best ever.

I'd go with Alonso's opinion any day over those biased armchair racers.

His solid performance over the years makes him one of the best - and has more to come. Without a doubt one of the GOATs

4 Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso is a Spanish racing driver and former Formula One racing driver. He is a two-time Formula One World Champion, and is often regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport.

The best of all f1 drivers currently racing. It is his skill and ability to get the best out of the car even though the package is not good. And also his ability to grab the podiums even after starting far behind the top three makes him one of the best in the ultimate f1 drivers list combo!

I haven't seen so far any other pilot who has always taken out the best of his car in every single race.
Maybe not the best qualifier but by far the strongest on race of the last 20 years.
He defeated Schumacher and won 2 tittles in a renault.
No other pilot has ever gone out so many times of his comfort zone and squeezed every single inch of his car in order to fight against better cars.
With a decent car...he would have at least +6-8 world championships.
Grande Fernando

Up there with Ayrton Senna in terms of talent and race-craft, probably not as fast as Senna on a single lap, but I would say he is the most complete race driver ever because he knows how to handle pressure, he know how to get the most out of the shopping trolleys that they build him of late and he is utterly relentless! Similarly to Ayrton Senna, he has spent most of his career if not all of it without sitting in the best car. In a nutshell: Give him the second best package on the grid and he'll win you the championship.

No words for Fernando! In equal machinery, he doesn't give a chance!

5 Juan Manuel Fangio

Could place a car with absolute precision every lap and considering the engineering of the day was more like dark ages to what is possible today he managed to handle a car like Michelangelo handled a paint brush. A Master of his work!

The greatest F1 driver of all times. And that's because Nuvolari drove before F1.

He should be higher up if overall performance is the rating. But consider that the era these racers were in can not really be fairly compared to other eras with such different equipment, rules, etc. To me anyone of them that were top runners is the best in their era.

Should be way further up the list.
Dominated the sport in the 50's

6 Jim Clark

In my opinion, he is quite simply the best racing driver in modern history.

He achieved so much in his (unfortunately) short racing career, displayed efficiency and grace behind the wheel that has not been witnessed since him, and even Senna himself described Jim as "The best of the best".

There is a particular episode in 'The Grand Tour' that goes into depth on this subject but I highly recommend watching it.

Arguably the greatest F1 driver of all time but unfortunately was taking from us so young. If he would have lived who knows what his stats would have been. He also won the Indianapolis 500 & touring car championship. Supremely talented.

Tight one between Jim & Fangio, records don't show just how dangerous racing cars was back then

Hardly ever made a mistake. Always hit apexes and was amazingly quick in every car he drove, especially in the Lotus 25 and the Lotus Cortina and a really nice guy.

7 Niki Lauda

The only man, who won the championship in two very different eras ( 1975,1977 and the turbo era 1984 ). All the others won in a certain era.

The Only real MAN on this list, he got the biggest balls to comeback after just 42 DAYS of his nearly fatal accident. NO ONE has done anything as BRAVE as that.

For me he is the best

I always adore three drivers

1.ayrton senna
2.Michael Schumacher
And most lengendry Niki lauda

The most impressive thing on Lauda, concerning strictly his abilities (and not is bravery, which is admirable), regards his logic reasoning. On the track, the guy was a general mastering what or not to do, which risks to undertake or races to complete. Off the track, his reasoning was brilliant on the evaluation of the car, and the necessary adjustments. To this we should add the period in which he competed, facing Hunt, Prost, among others. He may not have the biggest number of tittles, but by far, in my opinion, was the biggest genius on F1.

8 Alain Prost

It takes knowledge to appreciate Alain Prost quality as a racing driver.
The best of the golden era.
The king of the turbo charged mayhem.
The most accomplished F1 driver.
Simply the best, winning his second title in an inferior car with an inferior engine.

Prost should have had at least 5 world championships, if not 6 or 7. In 1982, he was fastest, but bad reliability from the Renault caused him to only win one race and retire many times, In 1984, he had more car reliability problems and lost out to Lauda by half a point (the smallest margin ever).
1988 was the year that him and Senna met on equal terms, driving identical cars, and Prost got more points, but Senna only won the title by a quirk of an experimental ruling system that year.

Every car he ever drove was suddenly the car to have. He was not only a fast race driver, but an excellent development driver. When Senna didn't have a car that would win, he went where Prost was. The Professor was the man!

Awesome driver. Taking into account courage, skills, danger, competition, results and panache :
1. Fangio
2. Prost
3. Senna
4. Schumacher

9 Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel is a German racing driver currently driving in Formula One for Scuderia Ferrari. He is a four-time Formula One World Champion, having won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with Red Bull Racing.

Far better than Alonso and proved it many times, many fans of Alonso are simply jealous.

By far the best driver of this era. He only had the fastest car 4 years and won all 4. Lewis had the fastest car 7 or 8 years and won only 4. Alonso had the best car 0 years, or I guess technically 1 year where his own team was favoring Hamilton and sabotaging them (when they tied in points and Raikkonen won over both with an inferior car) and won 2 Championships. Vettel and Alonso are both way superior to Hamilton. Would love to see Vettel and Alonso in the same car and see who wins.

Four time world champion! Amazing driver and lucky too. The near crash in Brazil could have made Alonso three time champ. Winning the last race in 2010 made Vettel champion for the first time. Alonso could have been three time champ. You have to have the whole package and Vettel does.

Great team, great designer and great driver. He should in top five by now.

He is an a amazing driver in Bahrain but only managed to get into fifth spot and for that isn't bad

10 Kimi Raikkonen Kimi-Matias Räikkönen, nicknamed "The Ice Man", is a Finnish racing driver currently driving for Sauber in Formula One. He was the winner of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship in his first season with Scuderia Ferrari. He currently holds the record for the most race wins (21) in Formula One more.

Gets podiums and wins in different cars and different engines. Not many have done that - Alonso did - and Hamilton only wins in best car.

He won the title the first year with Ferrari Team, and now with Lotus Team, which isn't a great team, is doing incredible things.

Kimi no nonsense driver or maker of excuses.

Probably doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Quite frankly Kimi is the fastest driver in the world, said Sir Stirling Moss!
And he is absolutely right!
On pure skill and race craft, he is second to none and that is why he is regarded as the greatest natural talent to have ever driven an F1 car!
It is also true that Kimi has great feel for the car, which is high ally and nemesis because if he isn't confident in the car, it will effect his performance, but when he is confident in his car, there is no one who could match him!
Kimi should have at least been a 3 time world champion,if his Mclaren was a tad more reliable. He was the guy who took the fight to Michael when Ferrari-Schumi was just running away with Championships!
If he had an ounce of the luck, Michael or Vettel or Hamilton had, his stats would have been something magnificent. And of all the top drivers, he is only one to not have the fastest car of the season more than a year in his whole career.
Kimi had the fastest car only in 2005 and we all know ...more

The Contenders

11 Mika Hakkinen

One of the very few F1 drivers that won quietly. He didn't make a fuss or anything, and quite a few drivers should take a hint from him. - Porcupine

Humble, Modest, and ridiculously focused driver. Beat Schumacher twice in the World Championship to claim the overall win. "Yes."

He should definitely be higher up on this list. He was the one Schumacher feared more than any other driver!

This guy is seriously cool!

12 James Hunt James Simon Wallis Hunt was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman.

True grit and determination. To much raw talent to contain and sheer class, entertainment and one of the stars that has made F1 so popular today. Today’s stars have a lot to be thankful to James.

Biggest balls in history right after niki

Putting life on the line for win

Banged great looking women plus great driver.

13 Jackie Stewart

Sir Jackie Stewart in my opinion is the best F1 driver of all times because in the times he raced there were not so many computers, not so many gadgets, it was pure tallent and driving skill

Skilled and intelligent, came did the business and retired before the sport took from him. Modern drivers owe him for the safety measures he pushed and pushed and pushed for.

Have to agree about " before so many computers and not so many gadgets. Plus he raced for smaller teams.

Top 10 talented drivers EVER

14 Gilles Villeneuve

Never won a championship but had the talent to do so. No other driver EVER had the passion to win as much as he did.
That guy took no prisoners on his quest to win races. Never raced for points, just wins.
If he won a race, that was all good, if his car ended up in a smoking heap of crap, that was all good too.
Nobody, NOBODY could ever match that guy on guts and sheer driving ability.
Enzo Ferarri saw that fire and hired him.
I spoke with him @ the LGBP in 1979 a couple days before he won that race.
Never met anybody with a focus with intensity and the calm demeanor that he had.
It's our loss that he was taken away too soon.

Right up there with the very best in sheer talent plus incredible nerve and determination. Given better equipment, could have won far more.

In terms of his actual driving, I don't think anybody has seriously been close to Villeneuve

Best driver for the ability to manage the race in a difficult situation is talent and to soon

15 Jack Brabham

Pushed his car 500 yards to win in 1959 and then becomes only driver in HISTORY to win the championship racing in his own team in a car built by himself.

Now nobody would even try to push a car one yard let alone 500 and build their own team like he did.

The only F1 driver to build and race his own car, which puts him ahead of many other drivers...

A legend who rose from the land down under, a country with no previous f1 experience at the time, and hit the big time In a car he built himself, going on to become a triple world champion.


16 Alberto Ascari

He is incredible. Has best Laos lead per race record

Should be up around 8 or 9.


Unbelievably low.
At least top 10.

17 Stirling Moss

Repeated podium position in the Championship - should be higher than 16th.

Brilliant driver and a true gentleman

Has never won a championship. All the top ten have

The greatest all around driver ever

18 Max Verstappen

He is outperforming his car consistently, and his latest "360" on the track, making sure his rear wheels kept spinning, so he would make the full 360 and would be able to keep driving, tells me there is somebody special driving this car. Lewis can do that to. These guys are outside category. It depends on the car but both of them would dominate in good car.

Entering at 17 years old and driving among older and more "experienced" drivers. He got inside everyone's mind, outperformed many cars in better conditions. This is it, the next generation future Goat is among us. 21 now and he's got 5 years behind him, every year he treats us with something special. A catch-up race in the rain at Brasil, round the outside's, impossible overtake inside curbs at U.S. vs Kimi, crazy defendings, Introducing a 'Max Verstappen Rule' and many more impressive drives.

Different to every other driver on the grid. On raw talent, entertainment value and massive potential there is already an argument for him as the best ever, even though the stats are not yet there.

He is in an inferior auto while Lewis is in the superior car and Max still is able to win several races

19 Damon Hill

The best driver after Senna! He was terribly robbed for the title in 1994! For me this guy is at least twice world champion and great gentleman! And yes - faster than Schumacher the knocker!

Robbed of two titles by a German driver and Italian team boss, fact!

If Schumacher was supposed to be so good, then in a fair season, Hill was better. Hungary in the Arrows just proved how good he really was.

Maybe lacked the arrogance to think its okay to cheat to win which senna and shumi had, if that’s a good thing.

I can't believe he is so far in the list.
I personaly believe he was a great driver and should be miuch highier in the list

He was a good driver for his age. But unfortunatley his personality off of the T.V. is horrible. If you've meat him that is

20 Daniel Ricciardo

What you mean his way to high. This guy passed both mercedes and ferrari with a RED BULL and won the race

A positive guy who outscored vettel and a driver extraordinaire driving a ordinary car.

Stand up and dedicated guy. Very consistent and a lovely Smile! May not be the fastest, but is the most charming racer for sure.

Give him a better car/ engine and watch the paddocks heads turn. Has big potential of being one of the greats. Remember only driver to get 3 wins other then Mercedes team drivers for 2014.

21 Bruce McLaren

To come from where he came from and to leave a legacy that still exists on the F1 racetrack, is quite incredible

Top 10at least brilliant driver

Great driver and builder

22 Nelson Piquet




Obviously many voters are too young. He was the best F1 driver of the 80s and easily top 5 of all time. Could win on any engine and wheel. No other champion has done what he did. Also despite havng less fastest qualifiers than Senna, has raced more fastest laps in race.

Won two titles with the small, almost private team Brabham against all the factory teams. Won races on 3x different makes of tires (Pirelli, Goodyear and Michellin. Won races during 10 different seasons. A top driver allround.

Never acted like a big shot, was truly the last driver who exemplified the stereotypical idea of how one sees a racing driver.

23 Emerson Fittipaldi

Great driver, and a thoroughly nice person. Great ambassador for the sport

He was great, and one of the best pilotos after senna

Great driver, would have won more championships if he wouldn´t have moved to copersugar - Disturbedpotato

Great Driver

24 Nigel Mansell

Amazing driver. Indycar 1992 was amazing, who else could do that fromF1

Best in class in a period of greats which included Senna, Prost & Piquet. Beat them all for out and out pace and tactics but could not, for driver or car reasons, derive as much success with reliability.

Nigel had 5 world champion team mates. His 31 victories were against Senna Prost Piquet, some were against Shumacher Hakinnen, L auda. Enough said

Insanely quick but equally as unlucky with reliability which arguably cost him the 1986 & 1987 titles which could easily have seen him become one of the best drivers of all time.

25 Nico Rosberg

The best driver to have never won a championship, lost the 2015 championship by bad luck and some of his own doing, he can beat Hamilton to a championship if he just puts a few more things together.

One of the best drivers... Eventhough he has won only a single championship he deserves to be in the top 10... But he should have taken his career a bot more seriously since he retired very soon... I am sure that he would have won a few more championships if he was still active...

Nico deserves the top 10 as he won the championship despite the doubters, love Rosberg

Cool and down to earth

26 Robert Kubica

Robert was unlucky with car seats. But in average BMW he was leading half the season. He beats Lewis easily in the same car.
His unlucky career overshadows this amazing talent!

Awesome telent, a real shame we never got to see his true potential

A fantastic driver and character, who never got a chance to drive a F1 car he deserved to drive

He is a hero and fighter!

27 Didier Pironi

Unlucky not to win 1982 WC. Very fast. As good as Senna.

28 Charles Leclerc

Watch and see!

Really good driver

Better than Verstappen and any driver on the grid

29 John Watson

Most Underrated driver ever - Rayvok

30 Rubens Barrichello

326 GP's in Formula One in the best teams, tried Indy and now, are racing in the brazilian Stock Car where he are a champion (won the 2014 title) and beyond that, he's a very competitive kart racer, an very cool and family guy.

Over 300 races and now stil going in indycar he is the only formula 1 driver to beat the stig on top gear and he's a pretty friendly chap to

Superb overtakings and corner braking

31 Stefan Bellof

Started the 1984 Monaco race stone dead last on the grid, in the only non-turbocharged car in the field, and by the halfway point in the race, he was up to third and catching both Senna and Prost. He also holds the ultimate lap record of the Nordschliefe.
He was somewhat like Senna, only even faster and more fearless. The ultimate 'what if' story in Formula 1.

The greatest talent to die before the career really kicked in.

Would have won 84' Monaco race if it gone a few more laps.

32 Jean Alesi

Well... Check out his first few seasons, as he impressed with Tyrrell with high-place finishes on at best, mid-field cars. Even though he only had one win, it was his ability to drive an underwhelming car that makes him a talented driver, but I wouldn't say he should be on the Top 10, maybe around 11th-15th. - Kwaysar

Just a beast - deserved a go in a title-capable car.

33 Rio Haryanto

Simply the best

Won many world championships and had a much glorified career with perhaps the most successful team in F1 :Manor Marrussia. He is truly a legend and one of a kind.

34 Ronnie Peterson

Drive it like he stole it - How to drift a Lotus 72 - see Ronnie

Would have easily won championships if he had not died. Came 2nd in the championship the second year he competed in F1. Also came 2nd the year he died. Very fast and daring driver

Legend and superb driver

Incredible car control

35 Narain Karthikeyan

The first Indian driver in F1. He was a talented driver but always had the slowest cars.

36 Carlos Sainz Jr.

Has been great this season for McLaren, would love to see him in top team - Disturbedpotato

El hijo de

37 Jenson Button

He is actually behind Alonso and Lewis, look at his teammate stats. Look at alonso teammate stats.

-2009 world champion
-on number occasions beat current world champion (Hamilton) in the same car
-2011 Canada Grand Prix 7th -> 1st in the rain

A champion and gent! He has beaten all his world champion team mates in the same car and beaten young hot shots in the same car too! That speaks for itself! If Button had the right car more often he would be multiple champion without doubt!

Ultra smooth and intelligent. Give him the another Brawn and Vettel can kiss goodbye. Only bad contracts and lack of concentration in his younger years will bring him down.

38 Graham Hill

Has won Le Mans, Monaco, Indy 500

He's an iconic driver and he won the triple crown, Indy 500, 24h Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix. Legend.

39 Jacques Villeneuve

Anyone that thinks JV shouldn't be on this list doesn't understand racing or just hates on him. Here's a guy that takes pole on his first race and should have won also. Astonishingly aggressive driver who would make unbelievable maneuvers overtaking other drivers. Was relentless and not intimidated by anyone. Had Schumacher shaking many times with unpredictable pressure.

How can a so spectacular wold champion be so far on the list?

He should be lower then this. It's a disgrace he's even on the list

Bra cause everyone hates him

40 Jody Scheckter

Admiring his driving style.
Total different driving style.

He is a South African. World Champ from nowhere!

Great driver - Disturbedpotato

41 Gerhard Berger
42 Pastor Maldonado

Phenomenal driver who not only overperformed the slow williams in 2012 but also drove into the chequered flag as the williams latest gp winner.

43 Dario Franchitti

Great driver but not in F1.

He is famous

44 Jochen Rindt

There is no doubt Jochen was super quick,the only driver Stewart considerd his equal, after Jim Clark's death. But he tended to relax a bit when the car was not competitive. In F2 where many top F1 drivers including Stewart and Clark also competed he was the King. I was a great fan his best race was the 1969 British GP at Silverstone where he diced with Stewart, they destroyed the opposition, happy days.

Only Driver to win World Drivers Championship - posthumously

One of the most gifted in the business.
Who vote these positions. People who never as Jochen Rindt drive!

WHY IS HE 32? He is one of the few people in F1 to win 5 races in a row!

45 Gunnar Nilsson
46 Giuseppe Farina
47 Alan Jones

Great driver, retired to early from F1 people didn't see how good he was.

Made Williams the Historic team that it is

Cool, intelligent and underrated

48 Nico Hulkenberg

Decent driver but...always when he had chance to get podium he bottled it...Brazil 2012 or Germany 2019 for example, and he hasn't even be that good this season - Disturbedpotato

Amazing put him with Hamilton Hamilton would be embarrrised

5 different championships in 5 years. In year 6 he joined Williams F1 and put the car on pole in Brazil (wet quali, the great equalizer) that a. Hole rosberg should've told him he was quiting and it would be double champion Hulk!

He's good but better than Jackie Stewart? No way

49 John Surtees

Not acknowledged for what he achieved. Only person to win championship on two wheels and four. Too quiet and not glam buoyant enough.

50 Felipe Massa

He has made some of the greatest starts in modern f1, and some of the greatest overtakes. A very unlucky driver, deserved a championship, but ferrari mistakes were far too serious. Also a humble sportsman, and a good guy. I hope people will always recognize the talent of this man.

Awesome driver, unfortunately he has never been as good as he was after his accident

The best driver ever

True Champion Of 2008!

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