Ever wondered who are the greatest Formula 1 racers of all-time?
That question can be trickier to answer since it isn’t possible to compare racers from F1’s early days with the modern crop given the technological advancements that have affected the sport.
One metric to run a comparison would be percentage of races won versus number of race entries. So that’s the only statistic we are looking at to compile this list of top-10 greatest F1 drivers. Here are the results – and some names might surprise you.
1. Juan-Manuel Fangio – 46.15% – Formula 1
El Maestro claimed five world championships for four different teams in the 1950s, and won 24 of the 52 races he entered. In the seasons where he entered all the races, he never finished worse than second in the championship. He is still regarded as a national hero in his native Argentina.
2. Alberto Ascari – 39.39% – Formula 1
A double world champion, in 1952 and ‘53, Ascari was one of the original stars of Formula 1. Driving for Ferrari, then later Maserati and Lancia, he won 13 of the 33 races he entered. He is one of only two Italian F1 champions – the other being Giuseppe Farina – and the only won to win for Ferrari. He died testing a Ferrari sports car at Monza in Italy in 1955.
3. Jim Clark – 34.25% – Formula 1
The life of Jim Clark was cut tragically short during a Formula 2 race in Germany in 1968. But prior to his death he had won 25 of the 73 races he entered, and was F1 world champion twice for Lotus, in 1963 and 1965. He was leading the 1968 championship at the time of his demise.
4. Lewis Hamilton – 33.6%
The six-time World Champion holds several records, including all-time most career points, all-time most pole positions, and most points in a single season. His 84 race wins from 250 entries puts him at the second spot in all-time race wins (behind Michael Schumacher, who also holds the record for most driver championships at seven). Hamilton will be looking to secure more records to his name once the 2020 season gets underway.
5. Lee Wallard – 33.3%
Another ‘anomaly’ in the top 10, Wallard was another American that specialised in the Indy 500. He entered three times, winning in 1951 at the grand old age of 40 after finishing sixth the previous year. The Indy 500 continued to be part of the F1 World Championship until 1960.