Juan Manuel Fangio handed Ayrton Senna the winners’ trophy at the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix. Senna climbed down from the top spot and embraced the Argentinian champion.
A touching moment between two of the sport’s legendary figures.
For decades, Fangio’s achievement of winning five world championship titles was the ultimate benchmark in Formula 1. Arguably, Senna and Alain Prost might have equalled him if they hadn’t had to race against each other.
Fangio’s rivals were in awe of him, to the extent of not wanting to stand in the way of the success they felt ‘the maestro’ deserved.
Compare that with the intense, bitter rivalry between Senna and Prost and you can appreciate the enormous changes in Formula 1 between the eras of Senna and Fangio.
The two were once interviewed together and the interviewer remarked that between them they had eight world championships. Fangio remarked: “Ayrton is still very good and still very young. He has still many years to keep racing.”
Sadly, he did not. We’ll never know if Senna might have matched Fangio’s five world championships. Some who knew him felt his respect for Fangio would have kept him from trying to win more.
It’s down to you to pick which of them belongs in the Champion of Champions final.
Compare their career stats below and vote for which you think was best. Tell us who you voted for and why in the comments.
|Ayrton Senna||Juan Manuel Fangio|
|Titles||1988, 1990, 1991||1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957|
|Second in title year/s||Alain Prost, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell||Alberto Ascari, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss, Stirling Moss|
|Teams||Toleman, Lotus, McLaren, Williams||Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, Ferrari|
|Notable team mates||Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Mika Hakkinen||Giuseppe Farina, Peter Collins, Stirling Moss|
|Wins||41 (25.47%)||24 (47.06%)|
|Poles||65 (40.37%)||29 (56.86%)|
|Modern points per start1||11.68||17.12|
|% car failures2||20.50||17.65|
|Modern points per finish3||14.70||20.79|
|Notes||Won three titles in four years with McLaren||Missed 1952 season due to injury|
|Controversial clash with Prost sealed second title||Handed 1956 title by team mate Peter Collins|
|Killed in third race for Williams in 1994||Record haul of five titles unequalled until 2002|
|Bio||Ayrton Senna||Juan Manuel Fangio|
1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure
Which was the better world champion driver?
- Juan Manuel Fangio (100%)
- Ayrton Senna (117%)
Total Voters: 710
This poll remains open until February 4th.
Read the F1 Fanatic Champion of Champions introduction for more information and remember to check back tomorrow for the next round.
Have you voted in the previous rounds of Champion of Champions yet? Find them all here:
Champion of Champions
- Ayrton Senna voted Champion of Champions by F1 Fanatic readers
- Champion of Champions in stats
- Champion of Champions Final: Senna vs Schumacher
- Ayrton Senna vs Juan Manuel Fangio
- Michael Schumacher vs Alain Prost
- Ayrton Senna vs Jack Brabham
- Juan Manuel Fangio vs Jackie Stewart
- Alain Prost vs Niki Lauda
- Jim Clark vs Michael Schumacher
- Jack Brabham vs Lewis Hamilton
Images © Williams/Sutton (Senna), Daimler (Fangio)