The Greatest Drivers Ever: The Best of Formula 1

The Greatest Drivers Ever: The Best of Formula 1  
Filed under:
Featured, Motorsport
on 11/28/2006

Michael SchumacherAlain ProstJuan Manuel FangioAyrton SennaNelson PiquetNigel Mansell

To any discerning fan of auto racing, there is truly only one league that exemplifies what true racing is and that is Formula One. Unlike their lower class NASCAR brethren in the United States, Formula One drivers actually have to turn both left and right during their races, and while it is debatable if stock car racing takes any talent at all, for Formula One, it is simply a foolish question to ask. The greatest drivers in the world race Formula One. Let’s take a look at the cream of the F1 crop on this, the 60th anniversary of the premiere car racing circuit on Earth.

If you are going to go by the most F1 titles won in a career, than modern champ Michael Schumacher is your champion. With seven titles under his belt, Schumacher has been dominant over the span of two decades. With his first championship (by a single point) coming in 1994 with Benetton, and his second the very next year, Schumacher established himself as one of the top young drivers in the world. But Michael’s true dominance began in 2000 when he won five consecutive titles in a row. Showing that he was a driver who could perform under any circumstance, Schumacher won the 2001 and 2002 titles by 58 and 67 points, respectively, the two biggest margins of victory in F1 history. The next year, in 2003, Schumacher won by only 2 points. Schumacher is also famous for switching teams, going from Benetton to Ferrari in 1996. Schumacher also holds the record for most wins in a single season with 13 in 2004.

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Michael Schumacher

Argentinean sensation Juan Manuel Fangio was the toast of F1 upon its inception in 1946. With five titles in the 1950’s, Fangio is the second most prolific winner in F1 history. Fangio’s first title came in 1951 behind the wheel of an Alpha Romeo. In 1954, Fangio began a run of four consecutive titles in a row, which was unprecedented at the time, but what made the accomplishment even more amazing was that he switched builders every season, and in 1954, he even switched in the middle of the year.

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Alain Prost

The mid-1980’s meant one thing to F1 drivers: watch out for Alain Prost. The acclaimed French driver was the hottest driver of his era, winning four titles spanning from 1986 to 1993. His accomplishments are even more amazing when you look at the drivers he was going against. All-time F1 greats like Brazilian legends Ayrton Senna (3 titles) and Nelson Piquet (3 titles), not to mention one of the all time great British F1 drivers Nigel Mansell (1 title, by an astounding 52 points in 1992). Prost followed the trend of other great drivers by switching manufacturers midway through his career, going from McLaren (his first 3 titles) to Williams (his final title).

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Ayrton Senna

Formula 1 has a rich, vibrant history that truly makes it the most exclusive and most popular racing league in the world. Many drivers from other disciplines have tried to compete in F1 and have usually been met with frustration. But for the men listed above, their incredible accomplishments will stand the test of time in the greatest racing circuit in the world.

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