Best Formula 1 Drivers of All Time

richie4life

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.

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.

There will never be anyone like Senna again. If he had more races in a season like today he would of won more races and the reliability of cars in Sennas day was not as good as now

The single greatest F1 driver I have ever seen. I don't think anyone in my eyes would ever be able to beat him. His utter mental strength was nothing to be reckoned with.

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2 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher

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.

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.

No other competition. In his own league

Simply the best, by far

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3 Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso

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

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!

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

Fernando showed his talent when in the years after winning titles he took a poor Ferrari and McLaren and drove both beyond their mechanical limits using his superior car handling skills making his team mates efforts seem amateurish.

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4 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.

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.

If you was to judge the best f1 drivers purely on wins and titles then schumacher is currently top man however we never saw lewis hamilton take on schumacher in his prime but results speak for themselves and hamilton is not done yet as we watch records tumble and history being made I would say that hamilton is on form to take the schumachers records as he is one of the only drivers able to get the best out of a car and he can race wheel to wheel without spinning unlike a driver ranked higher than him no names mentioned
But the skill shown in a f1 car rivals the greatest of all time the likes of senna and mansel or prost graham hill jackey stewart and niki lauda these are names that will forever be talked about as the greatest of all time and I believe we are watching history in the making with lewis hamilton and in my opinion he's fastley becoming the greatest of all time unfortunatly we haven't seen a strong enough rival in alonso due to circumstances alonso did not get a strong ...more

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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!

19th is just silly. This is obviously a young person's game!

Senna's a good candidate, but Fangio was the absolute best.

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.

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6 Jim Clark

In my opinion the best racing driver ever. Could drive any car quicker than others. RIP Legend.

Any car any time anywhere, real champion

The Drivers from the early era of F1 were true racing drivers. Jim Clark was special. No question if he had lived would have won many times.

The best ever - all that needs to be said. And probably the nicest guy. She

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7 Niki Lauda

Greatest driver who ever lived

Rest in Peace the Champion.You were the best with Senna.

My all time favorite. A smart, talented, very tough driver!

Best at all time

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8 Alain Prost Alain Prost

I kinda think he should be over Lauda - Disturbedpotato

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.

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

The top 10 is so close. I say Prost because of who his teammates were and he still was so successful. Lauda, Senna, Mansell, Hill, Rosberg. All world Champs and he still has 4 titles!

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9 Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel

Very fast but cracks under pressure

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

Simply the best driver ever.

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

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10 Kimi Raikkonen Kimi Raikkonen Kimi-Matias Räikkönen, nicknamed "The Ice Man", is a Finnish racing driver currently driving for Ferrari in Formula One.

He knows what to do.

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

Kimi no nonsense driver or maker of excuses.

Probably doesn't care what anyone thinks.

No comment needed its Kimi an all round phenom

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The Contenders

11 James Hunt 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.

Too high. Won only one WDC and that was because Lauda injury - Disturbedpotato

Putting life on the line for win

Banged great looking women plus great driver.

Biggest balls in history right after niki

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12 Mika Hakkinen

The only man MSC fear - Disturbedpotato

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!

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13 Jackie Stewart

Raw talent with grace and dignity!

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

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.

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14 Gilles Villeneuve Gilles Villeneuve

A no fear racing genius

The best, as admitted by 2 of the drivers above

The best one

One of the fastest of all time RIP - Disturbedpotato

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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...

He built his own car. What a legend

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.

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16 Alberto Ascari

He is incredible. Has best Laos lead per race record

Should be up around 8 or 9.

Ascari this low? COME ON PEOPLE MULTI WORLD CHAMP HERE

Unbelievably low.
At least top 10.

17 Stirling Moss

A gentleman

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

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18 Damon Hill

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!

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

19 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

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20 Bruce McLaren Bruce McLaren

Great driver and builder

Top 10at least brilliant driver

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

21 Daniel Ricciardo

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

Give him a better car and boom! number one driver ever

WAY too high - Disturbedpotato

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

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22 Nelson Piquet

I TOTALLY AGREE. iF PEOPLE TAKE THE TIME AND TAKE AN UNBIASED VIEW, THEY WILL TRULY APPRECIATE PIQUETS CAREER. TITLES, THREE DIFFERENT ENGINES, COSWORTH, BMW, HONDA. WINS ON 3 MAKES OF TYRES. IN 85 AND 91 ONLY DRIVER WHO COULD DELIVER ON PIRELLIS. BRABHAM WAS ONLY CAUSE OF PIQUET.

HIS TITLES WERE ALMOST IN 3 DIFFERENT ERAS, IN 81 BEAT. JONES, REUTEMANN, ANDRETTI, VILLEUNEVE AND PIRONI. 83 NEXT GROUP OF TOP MEN, PROST, ROSBERG, LAUDA. 87 BEAT, MANSELL, SENNA AND PROST, THE BEST GROUP OF ALL TIME.

BESIDES THE RESULTS WERE ABSOLUTE TOP 5 OF ALL TIME, HE LIVED LIFE THE WAY A SUCCESFULL SPORTSMEN SHOULD. ALWAYS JOKING AND PLEASANT FOR ALL THOSE AROUND HIM. ONLY IN 86 AND 87 WHEN MANSELL A REAL A HOLE WAS HIS TEAMMATE DID NELSON MOUTH OF ABOUT MANSELL ONLY. LETS NOT FORGET NIGEL, GOT EVERYONES BACK UP. SHOW ME ONE NEGATIVE THING PIQUET EVER SAID ABOUT GREAT CHAMPIONS SUCH AS FANGIO, STEWART, LAUDA, PROST SCHUMI OR ANY OF THE SPORTS BOSSES, ECCLESTONE, BALESTRE ETC. ...more

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.

Great driver, a real legend.

Very underrated

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23 Nico Rosberg

Great driver

Won the WDC 2016 because hamilton's engine failure in malaysia - Disturbedpotato

overrated - Disturbedpotato

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.

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24 Robert Kubica

His accident was unlucky - Disturbedpotato

Great talent. Thought guy

First Cyborg in F1
badass through and through

Good man

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25 Didier Pironi

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

26 Emerson Fittipaldi

Durst brasiliana Champion um Formule one

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

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

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!

27 Nigel Mansell

He was fantastic, I just loved to watch him, my favourite.

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

He who dares wins...or breaks the car..

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

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28 John Watson

Most Underrated driver ever - Rayvok

29 Charles Leclerc Charles Leclerc

Watch and see!

Better than Verstappen and any driver on the grid

30 Stefan Bellof

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

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.

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

31 Jean Alesi

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

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

32 Rubens Barrichello

Superb overtakings and corner braking

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

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 Narain Karthikeyan

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

35 Jenson Button

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

Some odd results on here

How ia he behind Maldonado - Disturbedpotato

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

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36 Carlos Sainz Jr. Carlos Sainz Jr.

El hijo de

37 Jacques Villeneuve Jacques Villeneuve

Worst guy ever to win the WDC - Disturbedpotato

Three words decribe him: a massive dick

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?

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38 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.

39 Dario Franchitti

Great driver but not in F1.

He is famous

40 Ronnie Peterson

Fastest driver ever

Incredible car control

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

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

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41 Jody Scheckter

Admiring his driving style.
Agressive.
Total different driving style.

Great driver - Disturbedpotato

He is a South African. World Champ from nowhere!

42 Gerhard Berger
43 Gunnar Nilsson
44 Graham Hill

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

Has won Le Mans, Monaco, Indy 500

45 Alan Jones

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

Cool, intelligent and underrated

Made Williams the Historic team that it is

46 Nico Hulkenberg

Amazing put him with Hamilton Hamilton would be embarrrised

He just need the right 'equipment' to make the jump to the top.

He's just the best!

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!

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47 Giuseppe Farina
48 Felipe Massa Felipe Massa

How is he behind Romain Crashjean - Disturbedpotato

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

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49 Rene Arnoux
50 Mark Webber

Got his ass kicked by Vettel lol - Disturbedpotato

Like how? By far one of the most underrated drivers ever! Brilliant and if wernt fastest laps now he would be a multi world champ! Late Brake King!

He is the best way way underrated

Must be the most unlucky driver in the list, should have been a world champion and should have kicked Seb's backside more then he did but the team favoured Vettel and he missed out.

V 2 Comments
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78 listings
11 years, 166 days old

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