Best Formula 1 Drivers of All Time
The Top Ten
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.
Ayrton Senna was the best F1 driver ever; a gifted prodigy and legend. His gifted driving skills were clearly evident, especially during harsh wet conditions.
Ayrton raced to win every race; second place was the first spot for the long list of losers.
Unfortunately in motor racing and most other sports, nobody remembers who came second, third, and so on. But even the best driver cannot win every race.
Even the very best driver ever, cannot survive or avoid a high speed crash caused be catostrophic steering failure. Some people still blame Ayrton for his fatal crash. Even if it was driver error, which it wasn't; Ayrton was not God, but only a man, but a man that possessed the greatest driving skills, I had the privilege to witness.
Mention Formula 1 to most people, and just about everyone remembers Ayrton Senna. Ayrton was not just very good; he was great; brilliant; a super star; clearly the best, head and shoulders better than his greatest competitors.
We will sadly ...more
Just look at how close he gets to the wall in Monaco and how much he dominated in the wet. Seeing him drive drive one of the scariest race cars ever, the McLaren mp4-4 so effortlessly and setting blisteringly fast qualifying times was amazing.
Apart from Senna being first, I am not impressed with this list. Where are Juan Miguel Fangio, Damon Hill, and James Hunt? What is Fernando Alonso doing so high up and what is Vettel doing on here at all? Kimi Raikkonen should be the only current driver in the top five or ten. Then maybe Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Paul di Resta should be top 25. Stirling Moss should be higher too.
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
Brilliant driver with a fabulous carrer and abundance of trophies, he will forever be one step ahead of everyone.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
A great driver. Still has a long time to win even more. He's 5th on wins list. He needs to be ranked among the greats. He also beat schumacher in head to head in 2006.
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.
Proportionally the best ever. He has like 85 wins compared to schumie's 91 with 50 less entries.
His solid performance over the years makes him one of the best - and has more to come. Without a doubt one of the GOATs
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
No one cleverly understood the ins and outs of the reality of formula one car racing then Niki Lauda. Pure genius at his craft!
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!
He is a technical 5 time world champion, as code masters decided to donate his world championship to Senna for no reason at all. Only lost one by half a point. Prost behind Senna, what a joke!
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.
Far better than Alonso and proved it many times, many fans of Alonso are simply jealous.
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.
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
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.
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
Gets podiums and wins in different cars and different engines. Not many have done that - Alonso did - and Hamilton only wins in best car.
Absolutely magnificent - the fastest driver in the world! Awesome personality... With better luck he should be at least a triple World Champion so far!
Always the fastest driver in the team! The one Michael Schumacher was afraid of...
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."
He should definitely be higher up on this list. He was the one Schumacher feared more than any other driver!
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
Biggest balls in history right after niki
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.
Putting life on the line for win
Banged great looking women plus great driver.
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
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.
BUILT AND WON IN HIS OWN CAR
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
At least top 10.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 of the rest in his first year of F1 and beat Sebastian Vettel in his first year at Ferrari. Best Driver ever.
Watch and see!
Really good driver
Better than Verstappen and any driver on the grid
Awesome telent, a real shame we never got to see his true potential
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!
He is a hero and fighter!
Looking at the 2013 and 2012 Lotus, he would probably have fought for world titles if not for his rally crash in 2011. A real legend-and to boune back so soon from his 2007 Canada crash! A real legend.
Unlucky not to win 1982 WC. Very fast. As good as Senna.
Most Underrated driver ever
Has been great this season for McLaren, would love to see him in top team
El hijo de
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
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.
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.
Just a beast - deserved a go in a title-capable car.
He is actually behind Alonso and Lewis, look at his teammate stats. Look at alonso teammate stats.
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.
-2009 world champion
-on number occasions beat current world champion (Hamilton) in the same car
-2011 Canada Grand Prix 7th -> 1st in the rain
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.
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
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.
Admiring his driving style.
Total different driving style.
He is a South African. World Champ from nowhere!
The first Indian driver in F1. He was a talented driver but always had the slowest cars.
Massively underrated. 4 Moto GP championships, 6 Isle of Man TT's, 2 years unbeaten then switch to cars. 2nd in his 2nd F1 race. Won his championship against highest class opposition of Clarke & hill, then left Ferrari who wouldn't win a championship for the rest of the decade. Inaugural can-am champ, fastest lap at le man's... The list goes on
Not acknowledged for what he achieved. Only person to win championship on two wheels and four. Too quiet and not glam buoyant enough.
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
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!
Phenomenal driver who not only overperformed the slow williams in 2012 but also drove into the chequered flag as the williams latest gp winner.
Great driver but not in F1.
He is famous
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
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
Amazing put him with Hamilton Hamilton would be embarrrised
He's good but better than Jackie Stewart? No way
He's just the best!
I think he is an excellent driver in anything he's put into. I have faith he will do great. I watched him in Chicago during his cart racing he actually tested the final field test when my husbands crew laid the final lap of asphalt. Great job Juan!
The best Driver! But he was in a Williams against the best Ferrari in the history
Great driver, great technique, great strength, had to be world champion
He knows how to overtake round the outside