Best Formula 1 Drivers of All Time
The Top Ten
He was magic, simply the most gifted of them all. He was able to do amazing things with inferior cars and when cars were real machines with lots of power, manual gear boxes and so on, simply another dimension compared to current videogame cars, where you Open the rear spoiler to gain 30% more speed and easily overtake. His numbers would be even more impressive if he had have the chance to compete in two or three more championships or if he had have the chance to start from the very begining with a strong car or to run against inferior teamates, as Shummy, Hamilton and Vettel did when they started wining. Senna and Fangio are simply in another dimension, period.
Ayrton Senna was not just a legend, but he was a famous Icon to Brazil and still to this day he is. He was the best specially in the rain.
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!
There was only one Senna; a prodigy, legend, champion & super star, especially in wet harsh conditions. There was and always will be many champions. Senna was something special; he genuinely wanted to win every race; perhaps not always the best or safest strategy. But Senna was a genuine, fierce competitor, and widely respected. Mention formula 1, and most people will remember Ayrton Senna, even people that have absolutely no interest in motor racing. Since there is only one place for number one, surely it has to be Ayrton Senna, it just has to be. Ayrton Senna was second to none, end of story!
Better than Senna! Senna was just plain aggressive and was a bit of a track idiot. Like when he instantly smashed Prost out of the race for championship!
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
It's certainly not crap about Senna being the best in the wet. Let me spill some beans about Schumacher's infamous "rainmaster" drive: during that race (Barcelona if I remember), Ferrari were running a system which gave their cars additional traction. It was very borderline legally, but the authorities turned a blind eye as they were keen for Ferrari to get back to the top.
Additionally, Schumacher's contract at Ferrari meant that the second driver played a supporting role - so he was never in a Lauda/Prost or Prost/Senna situation.
You could say he was the Pete Sampras of motor racing - undoubtedly one of the best, but the number of titles doesn't mean so quite so much considering the lack of competition. Perhaps he should be tied with Fangio in this respect.
Many fans weren't keen on his personality, nor his occasional tendency to go beyond the limit in defending his position, but anyone who cannot see how he is clearly ahead of the rest, is blinkered. At his best no one could touch him. That includes prime Senna, prime Alonso, prime Hamilton, Lauda, and the list goes on. I see many comments of how good Senna was in the wet. Schuey was better and the king of wet conditions - anyone remember him staying on slicks when it was a river on track and keeping Hill behind who had wet tyres, or when his car had only 5th gear and he still managed to keep Hill behind for the last 1/3 of the race? I suspect he is a little like Hendry in that he was so good and so far ahead of the others that people resented him winning all the time rather than enjoy just how bloody brilliant he actually was. There are many amazing drivers worthy of consideration but only one that is worthy of the crown and that is Schuey.
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!
Unlike the other racers on this list. Fangio raced in a time where helmets were basically just leather caps,seatbelts were pretty much non existant and drivers could die in even small crashes. A crash like the 1973 British GP back in 1951 would easily injure at least 5 or 6 drivers involved and kill probably 1 or 2. Fangio dominated an era where entering every race is like a death wish.
Fangio had won with multiple teams, something that would be impossible today. Fangio paved the way for all the other F1 legends
He obtained five world championships in the first 7 years of professional F1, which started in 1950. He achieved this milestone with four (4) different car makers, from Alfa-Romeo to Mercedes, he won it all. The pole-positions percentage is 56%, the wins percentage is 46%. In 2015 these figures are still to be matched.
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.
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.
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.
Not being the faster he is the more complete driver of the modern F1 Racing, knows how to get the best potential of a non winning car, excells on rain and withamazing starts, great mindgame and courage, incredible defending tactics with a slowr car, simply the best skilled racer in F1.
Many people knows that numbers doesn't tell who he is and what he represents and many people knows why he is so up in this list. May be wrong timing or wrong decisions have done that he did not get a car to battle in the last decade, a shame for the F1 Show.
He is, and will always be one of the most skilled and passionate Formula 1 drivers of all time hands down. Growing up watching him with Ferrari in 2010-2014 made him immediately an incredible driver in my view. Out driving his car no matter what the circumstances, and showing the most class. To me, he will always be one of the greatest drivers of all time.
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.
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
A lot of people may say Lewis Hamilton has won F1 Championships just because of Mercedes-Benz dominance. Yes, I agree Mercedes-Benz has been the best F1 team since 2014. However, we should not forget that he has shown his driving skills, his concentration, his ability to make the best decisions and making least mistakes in compere to his rivals during the high pressure moments in 2008, 2017,2018 in which his car was one of the best cars on track not the best one.
Also, he fought as a teammate to several word champions and finished ahead of them as followed: Fernando Alonso (1 out of 1), Jenson Button (2 out of 3) and Nico Rosberg (3 out of 4).
Speaking of dominance, I should recall that 2 out of 4 Sebastian Vettel's championships was more than 100 pints clearance to second driver and during Michael Schumacher's peak F1 fans decrease due to Ferrari dominance.
Hamilton should be above Alonso.
Hamilton was 2nd driver yet he made the current champion of the day look ordinary at McLaren. I don't agree with people who say Vettel is better in the wets because even Button is better in those. The only driver who will be able to match Hamilton will probably be Verstappen.
Vettel is always tussling with Verstappen and coming out second best.
Old drivers are only rated above Hamilton because of Nostalgia. For me Schumacher is the best followed by Senna and Hamilton. Senna could have gone to achieve more which is why he will be always top 3.
Jim Clark was unquestionably the most talented F1 driver of all time. Very few drivers could've driven a Lotus 25 as fast as he did. The sheer numbers of races he competed in every year would leave a modern-day F1 driver speechless. If you believe that Hamilton or Vettel could win the Indy 500, the Tasman Series, the British AND French F2 championships and the F1 championship in the same year, then you're insane.
Jim Clark is and always will be the greatest racing car driver in history.
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.
Despite being considered as one of the greats, in my opinion he’s the greatest. Having the record for the most grandslams shows how perfect his driving is on a Saturday and a Sunday.
Jim Clark was probably the greatest natural talent ever seen in any form of motor racing. Just as importantly, he was a gentleman racer who didn't have to block other drivers to stay in front. Relatively shy outside the car, he had a natural affinity with the machinery, and was less hard on the equipment than virtually anyone else. His smoothness belied his quickness; he did everything behind the wheel with such grace that he was simply in a class by himself. He could adapt to an ill-handling machine in short order and get the most from it, and he could drive and win in anything. Simply the best ever. I'd pick either Fangio or Senna second, and the other third. Schumacher couldn't compare with Clark.
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.
Lauda had the skill to fight his way up through the field during the race. In those days it wasn't all about getting pole position or the fastest lap, but also getting temperamental cars through to the end of the race. This is something Alain Prost learned from him - and by the way he should be equal to Lauda in the ranking.
Perhaps not the most "raw talented" driver of all time but his intellect,determination, technical understanding and and smooth driving style could have won him 2 or 3 more titles. He did not always pick the best teams after leaving Ferrari after 77. Schumacher, Prost, Vettel always drove in first rate winning cars, Lauda did not.
Junior Johnson once told me, you will know a driver is great when they return from serious injuries caused by a racing incident and the driver returns to championship form. Niki over came life threatening injuries to be a champion again, he has my vote.
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.
Best f1 driver ever. No doubt. Only Senna is equivalent. Prost as one of the most extraordinary carrers of f1. 4 times world champion in a time where there is always 4 best drivers (including Senna). How can it be so low in this ranking? Schumacher in 2nd? I did not have any competition in his days.
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!
Vettel is the Senna in the wet of this generation. He will be the only driver to ever top Schumacher. He is leading Ferrari to another period of glory days. The only reason Lewis Hamfist has won the last two championahips is because Mercedes did such a great job with the car. Any time Lewis gets under pressure he cracks, drives off track. He's a good driver, but he can only win if there is no actual competition or problems for him. Vettel is the best driver after Alonso, who would be at least a 5 time world champion if he didn't keep flocking to a new team right when his old one was getting it together. If he and Vettel were with Ferrari 2016, Mercedes would be done for.
Sebastian Vettel is very strong driver I have ever seen .I would put him into 3 position because his perfomance were great before hybrid era.After switching Ferrari he couldn't manage his best.This is certainly because of the car that is not compatable and reliable.I think he is more talented and capable than Hamilton or Verstappen
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.
Sebastian is one of the best drivers on the field defeating Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso he has the record for the youngest man to win 4 consecutive F1 Titles. He is known for his scintillating comeback drive in the Brazilian Grand Prix 2012. Seb had a terrible start and then was span around by Bruno Senna at turn 4. The car had major damage and unfixable damage. Seb fought back in the most fashionable way possible. Vettel from 2010-2013 was one of the most dominant drivers of all time defeating the odds of many people
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
Kimi should be a four time world champion now. 2003 and 2005 he should have won the title with Mclaren, because he was the fastest driver on the grid, but had bad luck with the reliability of his car. 2008 he got screwed by Ferrari, Domenicali and Santander. Otherwise he would have successfully defend his title, because he was faster and better than Massa and even he nearly became world champion this year. What I want do say with this is, that Kimi Raikkonen is one of the best drivers ever and he is of a few F1 drivers who are not only fast an F1 car. He is much better than the statistics say.
He's the sole reason why I had an intense and passionate love affair with the sport over the years and will probably come to a dead end after he hangs his boots..It's a huge shame for me to witness his current circumstances as to how he's being neglected and treated with utter disrespect by the team management as well all the dirty politics he had to endure every weekend...and the prioritisation and obsession towards Sebastian Vettel's probability of clinching the Driver's Championship have crossed the boundaries of madness...
Unbeatable on his day. One of the greatest drivers ever. Suzuka 2005 was probably the best display of his skills. At 37, he is still performing at a high level and mixing it with the great drivers. His statistics could and shouldve been much better, but he has had massive bad luck from engine failures back in his mclaren days all the way up to the tyre blowout in his last race at silverstone ( where he outraced and outqualified his highly rated multiple champion seb vettel)
I simply fail to understand why the "Flying Finn" is so low on the page. he should be in the top ten at the very least! granted he hasn't won as many championships as hamilton but he beat Michael Schumacher to the world championship TWICE and let's be honest, Schumi was among the very best out there. At one point in time he was the quickest on the track and when things went wrong for him he never complained much. he could push the car to its absolute limit. Mika is the embodiment of a great racer.
Calm, focused - Michael Schumacher's arch rival, whom schumi himself respected a lot.
The numbers may not be that great, but if u go by sheer talent, dedication and ability
I think he should be in the top ten.
He was nt blessed with a great car and reliability issues reckoned his career
Watch his overtaking @spa 2000
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.
Humble, Modest, and ridiculously focused driver. Beat Schumacher twice in the World Championship to claim the overall win. "Yes."
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.
Banged great looking women plus great driver.
Biggest balls in history right after niki
Party king buut once he took his title he was never the same driver..
Saw him race several times. Certainly in a class by himself. Had 99 starts with 27 wins. He might have raced longer if not for the death of his team mate and friend Francois Cevert. I was at Watkins Glen to see Jackie's 100th start, but after Cevert's tragedy, Tyrell pulled the team out of respect. JAckie was a champion of safety. With his persistence, many F1 Drivers have had safer experiences, thanks to him. A True Champion!
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.
Raw talent with grace and dignity!
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.
He was the best driver under rain.
Remember Dijon 1979
Remember Montréal 1981
Remember Zandvort 1979
Remember Argentina 1980
Remember Jarama 1981
Such a good driver!
Right up there with the very best in sheer talent plus incredible nerve and determination. Given better equipment, could have won far more.
«Best driver in his time, he was the man to watch on the track, he made extraodinary moves that no F1 driver dare to make up to now.
He should be in the top 5 best driver's list. He should have came to f1 in the 1960 where the driver made the difference not the car.
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.
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.
The only F1 driver to build and race his own car, which puts him ahead of many other drivers...
He built his own car. What a legend
He is incredible. Has best Laos lead per race record
At least top 10.
Should be up around 8 or 9.
Ascari this low? COME ON PEOPLE MULTI WORLD CHAMP HERE
Repeated podium position in the Championship - should be higher than 16th.
Has never won a championship. All the top ten have
Brilliant driver and a true gentleman
The greatest all around driver ever
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.
Along with Hamilton and Alonso, clearly the best driver in the last 5 years.
Toro Rosso Performances in his debut year at 17 were outstanding, completely outclassed fellow talented debutant Carlos Sainz no doubt had the ability to challenge for title like Lewis had he had a competitive car.
Record at Redbull:
7 wins, many involving great charges through the field, rarely in the strongest car
-avg 0.2-0.3s faster than Ricciardo in quali and faster than Ricciardo in race pace and
-avg 0.7s faster than Gasly
-tied best in rain with Hamilton
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.
Pure Talent with no weakness:
-Great at raw speed (quali)
-Great in Rain (brazil 2016, hockenheim 2019 etc.)
-Great at race pace (clearly outpaces ricciardo)
-No mistakes (Perfect since Monaco 2018)
-Great at overtaking (with redbull that is slower in straights)
-Great at defense (e.g. against Hamilton in Austin, despite old tires and inferior engine, vs leclerc/vettel silverstone 2019)
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.
Stand up and dedicated guy. Very consistent and a lovely Smile! May not be the fastest, but is the most charming racer for sure.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
Top 10at least brilliant driver
Great driver and builder
To come from where he came from and to leave a legacy that still exists on the F1 racetrack, is quite incredible
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.
Piquet was cold, intelligent, and knew how to win a race. He was not popular, thus his position below some drivers that don't deserve to be above him.
Never acted like a big shot, was truly the last driver who exemplified the stereotypical idea of how one sees a racing driver.
Great fast driver and very regular. Very able to contribute to a team's progress. Always fair on track. And a very funny character.
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...
He is the most underrated driver in formula1 and he Has proved by beating the mighty Schumachern Lewis Hamilton taking d same car... N they both r great drivers n world champions... He will be out their on the top one that when he gets a car like vette
And I bet that he can beat vettel if provided with d same car ;) just wait n watch n see what dis unlucky will do one day
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.
Out of all my heroes in f1, Mico Rosberg beats everyone for... His ability, bravery and velocity. He's my personal favourite even though my favourite team is ferrari. Go Nico! Go Nico! YEAH!
The most aggressive driver of all times. Always moving forward, always in attack mode. Usually faster than the equitment could handle. Either won or broke. If he raced in this day and time when their were few retirements, he would destroy the field.
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.
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.
Nigel had 5 world champion team mates. His 31 victories were against Senna Prost Piquet, some were against Shumacher Hakinnen, L auda. Enough said
Emerson was one of the best F1 drivers in that difficult era he drove in.
Calm,focussed,fast when needed, clever, always alert.
Great battles with the also legendary Jackie Stewart.
I wonder if he hadn't make the decision in 1976 to run his own Fittipaldi-F1 team, and had stayed with McLaren or had moved to Ferrari,how many f1-titles he may have won extra!
And further more always a gentleman and a very nice guy!
Great driver, and a thoroughly nice person. Great ambassador for the sport
He was great, and one of the best pilotos after senna
Durst brasiliana Champion um Formule one