The last race of the 2021 Formula 1 season was, without a doubt, one of the biggest races in sports history. Lewis Hamilton was chasing the record-breaking eighth Drivers’ Championship title and he had it in hands all until the very last lap in Abu Dhabi.
His main rival Max Verstappen took advantage of the decision made by the race control to get just behind the Briton. The Dutchman did not hesitate at all as he eventually overtook Hamilton to win the race at Yas Marina Circuit and take home his maiden world title.
Hamilton will thus have to wait for another chance to become the only man in history to claim more than seven Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship titles. Nevertheless, most Formula 1 admirers already consider Lewis the greatest of all time.
While we can still speculate driving styles, behaviour on and off the circuit, global popularity, etc., nobody can take away Lewis’ numbers.
With the support of sports betting experts at Newjerseysafebetting we have created a list of the top ten Formula 1 drivers in the history of the competition. Stay tuned to see where Lewis stands.
10 – Jim Clark
With 25 wins and two Championship titles, Jim Clark just broke into the top ten in the list. The Scotsman was the most talented driver of his era. He won two titles in 1963 and 1965. Frequent mechanical problems prevented his further glory. Unfortunately, Jim died in an accident at the F2 race in Hockenheim in 1968.
9 – Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda had to pay to enter the Formula 1 world, but he would certainly not become one of the top ten drivers in sports history without possessing talent. Lauda has competed in 99 more races than the aforementioned Jim Clark and yet he sits at the same number of wins (25). Nevertheless, we have put him above the Scotsman because of the number of world titles as Lauda claimed the season-ending No 1 spot on three separate occasions (in 1975, 1977, and 1984 respectively).
8 – Jackie Stewart
On top of his extraordinary achievement on circuits across the globe, Jackie Stewart is highly known as the pioneer for the introduction of stricter safety standards. Stewart had witnessed numerous tragic deaths of his colleagues across races (including the aforementioned Jim Clark) and requested safety barriers, seatbelts, full-face helmets, etc. In terms of his numbers, Stewart won 27 of 99 races he competed in and clinched three World Championships (in 1969, 1971, and 1973).
7 – Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell can be considered one of the unluckiest drivers in the history of the sport. He has picked up 31 wins in 187 races but managed to win the title just once throughout a long 12-season career. Nigel finished second in the Drivers’ Championship three times. He lost the silverware by only two points in 1986. His 1992 title made him the fifth-oldest Formula 1 champion as he claimed the crown at the age of 39.
6 – Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso promised a lot when he won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006. However, he then decided to make a move to McLaren which proved to be a big mistake as the Spaniard finished the season as third in 2007, behind champions Kimi Raikkonen and teammate, rookie Lewis Hamilton. Fernando has 32 wins to his name from as many as 333 races.
5 – Ayrton Senna
With all due respect to anyone else on this list, Ayrton Senna is the most gifted driver to have ever competed in Formula 1 according to many avid fans of the sport. A legendary motorsport figure was widely popular for his peculiar talent. Unfortunately, well all know that the legendary Brazilian ended his career much earlier than expected after a tragic accident at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in 1994. Senna has won 41 races and three titles (in 1998, 1990, and 1991).
4 – Alain Prost
The ability to win titles during the Ayrton Senna era truly speaks enough about Alain Prost’s driving skills. He outsmarted Senna in their amazing rivalry in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Prost became the inaugural Frenchman to win the Formula 1 Championship in 1985. He has won four during his successful career (in 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1993).
3 – Sebastian Vettel
Had it not been for the 2014 changes in Formula 1 rules, Sebastian Vettel would be much higher in this list. The German was one of the most dominant drivers in the history of the sport during his prime. He has won four consecutive titles from 2010 to 2013, claiming bountiful records in the process. However, the mentioned changes of the rules did not suit his Red Bull as Sebastian never managed to return to such heights.
2 – Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is still the best driver in Formula 1 history for most racing enthusiasts. The legendary German is level on the number of World Championships with Lewis Hamilton. He was the face of Formula 1 before the Briton’s emergence. Schumacher ended his career with 91 wins in 308 races and seven F1 titles (two in Benetton and five in Ferrari).
1– Lewis Hamilton
The numbers don’t lie. You can love him or hate him, but you need to respect what Lewis Hamilton has done in this sport. Just as Schumacher, Lewis has seven World Championship titles, but he holds the world record in the number of wins. No other Formula 1 driver has won more than his 103 races. The most frightening part is that his era is yet to come to an end.