Best Formula One Drivers of All Time

There have been many great F1 drivers since the start, but only one can be the best.. It's up to you to decide who gets the honor!

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 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.

The best driver ever

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.

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2 Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher

You could say that senna is the best remembered but that does not make him the greatest ever at the time Ayrton Senna died he had 3 championships at the same age (34) Michael Schumacher had 5 plus a runner up and 2 3 places so in achievements it really has to be Michael.

In his prime he was unbeatable. The cars today are too smooth. I'd love to see Schumacher, Hamilton and Senna fight it out in the same early 90's spec car.

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.

7 titles, 5 with one team, 4 consecutive titles, best rain driver ever. First hands down

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3 Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso

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!

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.

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.

Alonso rocks all time

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4 Juan Manuel Fangio

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 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.

If you had a f1 team in the 1950 s, and you wanted to win all you had to do is sign Fangio as simple as that!

There are so many good pilots, but Fangio is simply the best. When you read about what he did, you understand no one else can do that. And the most important he was a gentleman.

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5 Jim Clark

Watch the 2/8 episode of Grand Tour and you'll know why.

Best driver Stirling Moss said when I asked him. Fangio great also he said

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.

Great driver!

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6 Niki Lauda

Big Balls

Niki lauda is unquestionably the best f1 driver of all time alo coming back 42 days after practically burning alive he also wa blisteringly smart often telling the mechanics they were wrong this man is a legend and should easily be first

I salute him and his determination.

An amazing driver and a hero. Contrast his comeback with Schumacher's. He should have had four world championships, maybe more.

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7 Alain Prost Alain Prost

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!

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!

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8 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 more.

People say he wins because he is in the fastest car well isn't that the point of racing, to have the fastest car. I guess Mercedes does make a better product than everybody else.

Hamilton's stats are more impressive than virtually EVERY other driver in history and yet he is still not being recognised for being brilliant. Ayrton Senna may have seemed a better racing driver to many people but he raced in a different era when it was pure racing and less about the car. Many people do not realise just how good Hamilton is because he is not able to drive at the limit (like the old racers did), mainly because of fuel & tyre restrictions and all the endless rules and computer control. Take all of the modern computer/pit crew guidance away from the other less capable drivers and Hamilton would stand head & shoulders above everyone. He was an unbelievably impressive in carting (no computers there) and as a rooky he made Alonso look very average, hence Alonso's teddy's being thrown out of his cot. Max Verstappen is the only driver in Lewis's Hamilton's league but even he has not so far been as impressive as Hamilton was in his first year- but he is much younger ...more

Lewis is an insanely overrated driver. He is the only driver EVER who had the great luck to be in the fastest car on the grid 7 years of his career, and that is only in the middle of his career. He has been in at least the 2nd fastest car every year of his 12 year career so far. Nobody has gotten that good a situation. And apart for only 1 year with another great- Alonso, he can't even dominate his own teammates. In 7 years with Button, Alonso, Rosburg, he lost to his teammate 3, beat his teammate 3, and tied the other. Hardly impressed. - morrislawes

An amazingly decent bloke. Always focuses on the fact that his team helped him to victory and makes the point of thanking them and praising them.
A lot of grace

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9 Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel

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

Best driver ever! If he had the luck of Schumacher and Hamilton to be in the fastest car would win the Drivers title ever year. - fartingbum

Should be over Hamilton at least.

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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.

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.

If only Ferrari hadn't had the intention of screwing his race weekends after weekends in order to illuminate the course of Sebastian's drivers' title pursuit..Kimi would've had stood at the top of the podium on numerous occasions... - Arhaan95

Only the best

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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.

Putting life on the line for win

Banged great looking women plus great driver.

Biggest balls in history right after niki

Pure excitement gave everthing flat put driver surely missed!

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12 Sir 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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13 Mika Häkkinen

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!

So fast, why behind Hamilton?

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14 Gilles Villeneuve Gilles Villeneuve

One of the fastest drivers ever, RIP. - Disturbedpotato

Most spectacular driver in his era and certainlly of all times.

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

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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.

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 Sir 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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17 Nelson Piquet




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.


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18 Alberto Ascari

Should be up around 8 or 9.


Unbelievably low.
At least top 10.

19 Max Verstappen

Barcelona 2016
Brazil 2016

Het is the best driver but he has not the best car yet.

...only to win

Crashes into everything. has speed thou - Disturbedpotato

He's still young, but wait until 10 years! - Userguy44

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20 Nigel Mansell

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.

His sheer determination can only be matched by the best in history

Came out on top of Senna, Prost and the rest more often than not at wheel to wheel racing. Enough said

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21 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!

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!

He is a talent.

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22 Nico Rosberg

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.

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

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23 Daniel Ricciardo

He was my idol

No question

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.

His actually very good but give him a better car engine and stuff like that he should be at least to 20

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24 Ronnie Peterson

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

Legend and superb driver

So close to the 78 championship and would have gone further but for his fatal Monza crash

He would have won the 78 so hard! #SweDriverAreBest

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25 John Watson

Most Underrated driver ever - Rayvok

26 Jenson Button

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.

Great man. Not the quickest over a lap but his race pace and general intelligence usually makes him finish higher up. He has had to fight for his carear, benetton/renault and honda, yet came out on top. His personality is brilliant. He should be in the top 10 and at the very least higher then hamilton

Very consistent and some of his wins could only be won by greats showing great dominance and skill, especially with Canada 2011 and Brazil 2012

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27 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!

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

28 Emerson Fittipaldi

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!

29 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.

30 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

31 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

32 Juan Pablo Montoya

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!

He was a great driver reallyloved him at Williams - Disturbedpotato


The best Driver! But he was in a Williams against the best Ferrari in the history

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33 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

34 Sergio Pérez

Constant driver and the best in tyre expert care

Underrated driver; constant and tyre expert

Fantastic driver

So dangerous. #watch out massa

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35 Jacques Villeneuve Jacques Villeneuve

Worst guy ever to win the WDC - Disturbedpotato

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

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36 Pedro Lamy

No recurses, no sponsors and a bad car... but good pilot

37 Kevin Magnussen

Will be world champion one day

Give him a prober car and...

He took a second on debut and will come back stronger

Have high hopes..

38 Didier Pironi
39 Jochen Rindt

Why is he 39? - Disturbedpotato

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!

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40 François Cevert
41 Nico Hulkenberg

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

He is a championship material! give him a good car...(Alonso and Hulk) are the best in the world...

Hulkenberg + Good car = Domination

42 David Coulthard

Was very fast in the early 2000's and if not for Schumacher, he would have been champion in 2001. Not as fast with Red Bull, but he was still quicker than Mark Webber. In my opinion, he is one of the best drivers not to win the championship.

Hopeless driver. Crashed so often and blamed team

Never a fan of him as a racer! But love him as a F1 commentator! Brilliant!

He is bad at his job f1

43 Valtteri Bottas

Bottas has a good chance to come high in the championship.

He is not doing very good this year ( 2016) he is still fast and good at overtakes bring on (2017)

Bottas is proving how much awesome he is

Good, but needs to win races to avoid being new Kovalainen.

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44 Jules Bianchi Jules Bianchi Jules Lucien André Bianchi (3 August 1989 – 17 July 2015) was a French motor racing driver who drove for the Marussia F1 Team in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Great member for the team and possibly future world champion.

He is a quick guy and deserve to join ferrari.

Beautiful angel

Forever alive

V 5 Comments
45 Roland Ratzenberger

Do note that Roland was driving for Simtek at the time, a backmarker team that struggled throughout it's F1 existence. Though I strongly believe that if he had more time on Earth, he could be a contender for several wins. He finished 11th on his only F1 start with a woeful car. - Kwaysar

He would of had a great career

Not even heard of him terrible

46 Carlos Reutemann

He never had a team working for his world title's conquest.

47 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.

48 Alan Jones

Cool, intelligent and underrated

Made Williams the Historic team that it is

49 Tiago Monteiro

Took a podium in a Jordan

50 Pierre Gasly

Sienna is on 1/2 of these bio. To campare too.
That's says it all!

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Top Remixes (39)

1. Ayrton Senna
2. Michael Schumacher
3. Jim Clark
1. Michael Schumacher
2. Fernando Alonso
3. Nico Rosberg
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3. Kimi Raikkonen

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