The Historys Top 10 Formula 1 Drivers
Formula 1 (F1) can mean many things to different people. F1 fans tend to be more interested in the racing elements. F1 fans may also be interested in the sport's innovative and technology-driven atmosphere. These two sides make up the F1 yin-yang, which exemplifies the essence of these racing events.
F1 Racing still has value, even if you're not a fan. F1 technologies are used in other industries to make our lives safer and more efficient. F1's vast research and development efforts have enabled this industrial influence.
These are some examples where F1 technology is making its way into everyday life:
- Pirelli is the exclusive tire supplier to all F1 teams. F1 is a sport that you can drive on Pirelli tires.
- Modern hybrid cars use a regenerative brake design to provide drivers with more efficient vehicles. Regenerative braking uses braking energy to generate electrical power. Regenerative braking was first introduced in F1 in 2009, and then it is used in modern hybrid cars.
- F1 engineers are required to make their engines more sustainable in order to comply with new FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile governing restrictions). This positive ripple effect has an impact on mainstream vehicle engineering.
- McLaren was the pioneer to use carbon fiber in a race cars in the 1980s. Today, carbon fiber is used in Lamborghini Huracan Performante and other vehicles. Carbon fiber is a lightweight and durable material that can improve a car's performance and fuel economy.
Let's get to the point. Let's take a look at the most important F1 drivers throughout the sport's history.
What makes an F1 driver "great?"
What makes a great F1 driver?
F1 drivers' handling skills, engineering knowledge, team interaction, and fitness are all key to a successful racing career. This is crucial because many F1 events have been won with lap times as low as a split second.
You may be asking yourself why F1 drivers need to be fit. F1 drivers can make mistakes that could lead to back and neck injuries. These types of accidents can be avoided by a fit driver who has good reflexes.
Essential F1 driving knowledge includes but isn't limited to: Using the best vehicle handling techniques, balancing a vehicle's weight, changing tires at a right time, saving fuel, responding to data in real-time, and storing it.
F1 driving data doesn't just belong to the driver. Superior F1 drivers can communicate their registered racing data to their team so that they don't have the burden of speculating on possible solutions.
This is a simplified explanation of the characteristics that make an F1 driver great. To get a better understanding of the skills needed to excel in this sport, let's take a look at 10 F1 drivers from history.
Why is Michael Schumacher considered the best F1 driver ever?
Michael Schumacher, a former German F1 racecar driver, was born in 1969. Schumacher's racing prowess is evident with his seven championships and 13 wins in races in 2004. Schumacher is the only F1 driver who has won seven championships, 13 wins in one season, earned the most points in a single year, recorded the most consecutive race wins, and registered the fastest lap times.
The F1 legend from Germany raced his first race at the age of four and won his first club championship two years later. Schumacher was so gifted that local businessmen started funding his racing ventures.
It may surprise you to know that Schumacher had clutch problems during his first race, which caused him to exit the competition on the first lap. After his first race, things quickly turned around for Schumacher.
Schumacher was never without his lucky pendant, an African beaded bracelet that he received from his wife as a gift. Schumacher joined the Ferrari F1 Team from 1996 to 2005 after he had raced with the Benetton F1 Team in 1991. Schumacher submitted some design ideas for Ferrari Enzo as a result of this relationship with Ferrari. Schumacher showed his love of design by creating a lightweight, ultra-strong helmet with the Schubert team, the RF 1.5.
How did Michael Schumacher balance high achievement with humility?
Schumacher never wanted luxury cars, even though Ferrari gave him a car after Schumacher retired from racing. Schumacher used a Fiat 500 Abarth as his primary vehicle. Schumacher's humble nature was evident in his claim that Ayrton Sena was the greatest F1 driver, and not him.
In 2006, Schumacher was voted F1's most beloved driver. Six years later, Schumacher retired as the German racing legend. In the Disney/Pixar movie cars, Schumacher can be heard voicing a Ferrari F430.
Which F1 Driver Was the Most Popular in the Late 1980s and Early 90s?
Brazilian race car driver Ayrton Sena was a major force in F1 during the 1980s, 1990s. Senna was born in 1960, but he didn't start racing until he was 13. Senna began racing go-karts and his skill allowed him to move up to single-seaters in 1981. Senna's racing achievements include six wins in the Monaco Grand Prix, being the youngest F1 champion, eight wins in the 1988 season, and the youngest three-time F1 champion.
From 1989-to 1993, five consecutive Senna Monaco Grand Prix wins were achieved. Senna's outstanding handling can partly explain these wins. Monaco's most difficult turn requires drivers to move their wheels as far as possible while simultaneously crossing their arms. Legend has it that Senna would make a sharp turn in Monaco with his left hand and downshift, then straighten the car's position before moving on.
Senna excelled at dealing with adversity in racing events. After his transmission failed, this F1 competitor won without shifting the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix. Senna was unable to access his third, fourth, and fifth gears due to a failing transmission. Senna's philosophy on racing made this possible, which allowed him to be a unique presence behind the wheel.
What did Ayrton Senna think outside the box?
A metaphysical/spiritual outlook on racing diversifies Senna from other competitors. He explained how his racing skills were derived from his behind-the-wheel instincts, which made him feel like he was in another dimension. Senna was able to exceed F1's limits and become one of the sport's most formidable competitors thanks to this metaphysical outlook.
Are you a fan of 90s Honda NSX models? Ayrton Senna was instrumental in the development of the NSX, advocating for a stiffer frame. This stiffer chassis resulted in a better driving balance.
Senna's legendary career and philanthropic work continue to inspire.
Who is the Modern F1 Driver of Excellence?
Lewis Hamilton is easily a worthy candidate for a place in the top three F1 drivers. Our top ten list does not include Hamilton's 100 Grand Prix wins and rookie race wins records, rookie pole positions record, and rookie points record. He also has back-to-back F1 World Championships victories making him an excellent choice to join Schumacher and Senna.
At the age of 23, Hamilton became the youngest F1 World Champion. Hamilton showed no signs of slowing down, winning at least one race in every season he participated in and also winning a leg in every race he qualified for. His 100 Grand Prix victories make him the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix, surpassing Schumacher's 91 wins. Hamilton's worst F1 season was 2009 when he finished 5th overall with McLaren.
Hamilton won 11 races in 2014, a record for Hamilton's career. Hamilton raced with Mercedes-Benz during this single-season achievement. Hamilton has raced only with McLaren or Mercedes-Benz in his long track record.
How did Lewis Hamilton's skill develop so quickly at such a young age?
From the beginning, it was clear that Hamilton would have a positive impact on the racing world. At ten years of age, Hamilton won the British Kart Championship. He was a racing legend in Britain. Hamilton was only 13 years old when an F1 team signed him. Hamilton was then accepted into the McLaren-Mercedes-Benz Young Driver Support Programme, which subsequently honed his skills.
Hamilton's debut in Australia as a McLaren rookie was third, proving his potential.
Hamilton is not superstitious, unlike many F1 drivers. Hamilton's greater power is due to his strong Christian faith, which gives him peace of head when flying at high F1 speeds.
Who was the Best F1 Driver in 1950?
Juan Manuel Fangio, an Argentine driver, was the dominant force in F1's first decade. Fangio began his Grand Prix career in 1948 and went on to win five World Driving Championships in the 1950s. Fangio's extraordinary skill in collecting these many championship wins with four different racing teams is a testament to his exceptional ability, as each racing organization had its own views.
It is fascinating to look at this period in F1 history. Modern F1 drivers still risk their lives during racing events. F1 competition was more dangerous in the 1950s. Fangio stated that 1958 was a great year for F1 racing. Nobody got killed".
What was Fangio's secret to separating himself from other drivers during his time?
Fangio's mechanical background was a major factor in his rise to F1 racing fame during the 1950s. Fangio, an Argentine racer, began his career in the mechanical side of cars when he was 12, and then he became an apprentice to own his garage. Fangio's expertise in maintaining a vehicle gave him an advantage over his competitors. He also communicated driving feedback to his team that helped them improve their vehicle.
Fangio was praised by the F1 racing industry for his professional and kind attitude, which continued throughout his huge success. Fangio was a true racing professional. He would research tracks with bikes and motorcycles before races to plan his actions for the upcoming event. Fangio was present at all car setups and paid close attention to the vehicle's mechanics. He didn't push his cars more than needed.
Fangio was voted the greatest F1 driver by Sheffield University. Before his death in 1958, Fangio was an icon of Argentine racing. He won 24 Grand Prix world championships.
Who was the best F1 driver in the 1970s?
Niki Lauda is a legendary F1 driver, with 25 wins, 54 podiums, and 24 fastest lap times. He also holds 24 pole positions.
Niki Lauda is a humble man. Although Lauda was the Austrian F1 champion, he was not born to a wealthy family. His parents did not support his dream to become a professional race car driver. Lauda was unable to support his family financially so he borrowed money from banks to finance his racing. Lauda was eventually able to pay off his debts after Enzo Ferrari brought Lauda aboard in 1974 as an F1 team member.
Ferrari made the right decision in signing Lauda, as the Austrian driver won two world titles in 1975-77. McLaren was Lauda's third world title in 1984.
After all that Lauda has been through, it's difficult not to feel a lot of respect for him. After an intense crash, Lauda sustained severe injuries at the 1976 German Grand Prix in Nurburgring. Lauda was trapped in his car and suffered burns to his lungs, disfigurement of the face, and other serious injuries. Lauda recovered quickly from his coma and was able to make a remarkable comeback in just six weeks. He fell one point short of James Hunt's 1976 World Championship.
Niki Lauda's and James Hunt’s rivalry inspired the 2013 film Rush. The key to this rivalry was Lauda's calm, focused, logical and quiet demeanor, which was the complete opposite of James Hunt’s party-centric lifestyle, aggressive on-track driving, and a polar opposite of James Hunt. Both drivers worked together to achieve their best performance.
Lauda donated many F1 trophies for a lifetime supply to a local carwash. Lauda was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame by the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, 1993.
What makes Alain Prost's career stand out amongst fellow F1 legends?
Alain Prost's remarkable F1 career spanned thirteen seasons. Prost's legendary status is reflected in his 4 World Champion titles and 51 total race wins. 33 pole positions were also achieved. Prost also made 106 podium appearances. Prost was the first F1 driver to win 50 races. Prost was followed by Michael Schumacher.
Alain Prost was nicknamed "The Professor" for his calm, collected, and calculated demeanor. This led to him not being appreciated during his time in F1. James Hunt and other wild F1 drivers are the ones that come to mind when you think about flashy F1 drivers. Prost's strategy allowed him to make fewer pit stops and score tons of points, which wasn't always the result of wins. Alain Prost exited one wet race after he felt the track was unsafe and parked his car. Prost's career injuries were one reason he adopted a conservative approach to racing.
What did Prost get from his trademark driving style?
Prost made driving an F1 car seem effortless. Prost's balanced driving style was appreciated by his teammates. Aryton Senna's cars were, however, not as well maintained in their final condition. Prost would eventually team up with Senna in 1988, and they would win 15 races together.
We are not here to criticize Alain Prost’s driving style. Prost would sometimes kick his car into high gear in order to beat down opponents when he was angry about competition. Prost was the first world champion with back-to-back victories since Jack Brabham in 1960.
It is amazing to think that Alain Prost did not drive his first car until he was 14. By the age of 13, future F1 stars like Lewis Hamilton had already been enrolled in prestigious Formula Racing programs. Prost formed a partnership with Niki Lauda, which led to the pair winning 12/16 races and Lauda taking the World Championship in 1984. This 1984 championship was Lauda’s last. The Austrian took the title by half a point.
Prost's consistency was evident in many ways. Contrary to other F1 drivers Prost wore the same helmet that had the French flag's red and white colorings.
Prost won the 1993 F1 championship after he had missed the 1992 season. Prost showed a passion and commitment to cycling after racing. He never gave up on a challenge. We would not expect anything less.
Which Records Did Sebastian Vettel Break During His Early Career?
Sebastian Vettel, a German F1 driver, has previously raced for Ferrari and BMW Sauber. He currently drives green for Aston Martin. Vettel has won 53 races, collected 57 pole positions and 3018 points. Vettel is the F1 world's youngest champion, has been the youngest F1 driver to win the championship four consecutive times, and is the second youngest F1 race winner after Red Bull racing star Max Verstappen.
These are remarkable marks for someone who claims not to drive for statistics. Vettel stated, "You can't always do the best, but it is possible to do your best."
The German F1 driver, Vettel, began racing go-karts when he was three years old. He continued to race at higher levels of competition until he reached Formula 3 in 2005. Vettel won the top rookie award in his first Formula 3 season. Vettel set a record for the sport's fastest ever fine after he began his first F1 season in 2006. Vettel's speed in the pits nine seconds into the race resulted in Vettel being fined. Vettel would win his first F1 victory in Monza, 2008 during a Toro Rosso run. Vettel would be named F1 driver of 2009 and again win the award in 2013.
What is Sebastian Vettel like behind the scenes?
Others have described Vettel's intelligence, speed, and technical aptitude toward the mechanical side. Vettel has been compared to Michael Schumacher, a former racing legend. Vettel reflects Schumacher's driving style and focuses as well as his desire to support his teams.
Vettel is passionate about creating new patterns, even though some F1 drivers may prefer to keep their helmet designs the same. Vettel has been committing to one design in recent years. Vettel had previously tried 50 types of crash helmets in previous years.
Vettel's move to Ferrari Scuderia F1 in 2015 is well-known. Vettel's interest in Enzo Ferrari, Ferrari's founder was what made this a brilliant move. Vettel stated that he would read any materials that provided details about Enzo Ferrari's life, work, and personal life. After winning in Malaysia, Ferrari and Vettel started their 2015 relationship with the right foot.
Vettel is a remarkable man, able to combine natural talent with experience and remain humble. INFINITI named special editions after Vettel, extending this recognition beyond F1.
How Did Fernando Alonso Alter F1 History?
Fernando Alonso, a Spanish F1 legend, started racing at age three. Alonso started racing at 7 years old and climbed up to F1, where his debut was in 2001, at the age of 20. Before Alonso, Spain had not seen much success in F1 racing. Alonso was the first driver to win the championship in his country's F1 race. Alonso would win another championship in 2006, and he would be the last driver to do so.
Spain's last podium finish was in 1956, before Alonso's F1 debut. Alonso started his F2 career with Minardi in 2001. The Torro Rosso racing crew has since taken over.
Alonso has been outscored only once by McLaren's teammate in 18 seasons. Alonso's absence from the McLaren F1 Season was partly responsible for this dry spell. Alonso's negative McLaren experiences go beyond this incident. Alonso believed that McLaren's team boss Fernando Alonso preferred Lewis Hamilton when they were colleagues.
Alonso missed out on three more championships due to narrow margins. However, a loss is still a loss and these examples are not uncommon in the sport.
Remember how James Hunt lost the 1976 championship to Niki Lauda by one point, and Alonso won the 1984 championship by half a point. Alonso fell just short of three championships due to narrow point differentials. However, Alonso was able to beat Michael Schumacher twice during his two championship runs.
Are there any racing achievements beyond F1 for Alonso?
Alonso's racing skills extend far beyond F1. Alonso won the 24 Hours of Le Man's endurance race event with Toyota in 2018. Spain's most well-known F1 driver is one of five who have won Le Mans as well as an F1 World Championship. Alonso beat Stoffel vandoorne by a wide margin in the same year's 21 races. Alonso won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2019 with Wayne Taylor Racing.
Critics praise Alonso's ability to drive consistently fast, regardless of the weather conditions.
How did Sir Jackie Stewart impact F1?
The "Flying Scot" is Sir Jackie Stewart, Britain's first F1 World Champions winner. He stands out as an advocate for F1 racing safety.
Stewart, who was dyslexic at the age of 16, dropped out of school and started working as an apprentice mechanic in his father's garage. British Racing Motors signed Stewart in 2003 and he would drive a Lotus at his first non-championship event. Stewart was able to race after Jim Clark had been injured and record his first Grand Prix win at Monza that year. Stewart won Rookie of The Year in his 1965 debut season and was awarded a World Championship in 1969.
Here is a list of teams Stewart raced for:
- Team Lotus
- Owen Racing Organisation
- Tyrell Racing Organisation
- Matra International
- Elf Team Tyrrell
Stewart joined Le Man's success list of F1 drivers. Stewart was able to finish second in his class thanks to a Rover-BRM car.
Jackie Stewart became an F1 safety advocate.
Stewart is known for his support of F1 driver safety. Stewart called F1 safety measures "diabolical" during his career. This is a fair description considering Stewart crashed in wet conditions at the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix. Fluid from Stewart's car started leaking onto him after he crashed. Stewart was instrumental in introducing F1 safety measures such as full helmets, seatbelts, and safety barriers.
How did Jackie Stewart's racing career end?
Stewart tied Jim Clark for the record for most F1 victories at 25, the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix. He then won two more races before retiring in 1973, with 27 wins. Stewart decided to retire due to fatigue from frequent travel for racing events.
The Flying Scot returned to F1 in 1997 and continued to run a team alongside his son until 1999. The team was called Stewart Grand Prix. 1999 was Stewart Grand Prix's most successful year. The team won one race, took one pole position, and finished fourth in the Constructor's Championship. Ford later bought Stewart Grand Prix, renaming the team Jaguar Racing.
What did Jim Clark do that no other F1 driver could?
Many consider Jim Clark the greatest F1 driver of all time because of his natural talent. Clark's career is remembered for its versatility. Clark was a multi-race competitor because he considered all types of racing equal.
Clark competed in 63 races in 1965 and won championships in F1, British F2, French Formula F3, Indy 500, and the Tasman series. You can see how impressive 63 races in one season are by looking at the average number of F1 drivers who race 21 races each season. Clark won podiums in Formula Junior's F1, F2, F3, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Clark was regarded as the greatest all-around driver by the public because of his extensive track record.
Clark was the son of a Scottish farmer family. This contrasts with F1's reputation for being a sport only for the rich. In recent years, F1 has seen billionaire fathers purchase teams and place their son as one of the drivers.
Clark was a driver for F1 cars, which were slower during his time on track. However, the lightweight vehicles he drove were still fast due to their speed. Clark, along with many other Formula drivers, died behind the wheel of their cars in 1968 due to a combination of speed and lack of safety precautions. Clark was one of 127 drivers who died in the same accident that killed him in a Formula 2 race. Many believe Clark's fatal accident was caused by a tire blowout.
Clark's determination to race as often as possible reflects fearlessness, total commitment, and total dedication to racing.
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