Achievements unlocked: F1’s ultimate champions revealed

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The Formula One world champions’ club is an elite group. It has 32 members and hasn’t admitted a new one for six years.

But the first drivers who put their names on the world championship trophy competed in a sport which was very different to the one we know 66 years later. Nonetheless some fundamental points remain unchanged, and its those similarities which can help us appreciate how a Jim Clark might have compared to a Lewis Hamilton, or a Juan Manuel Fangio to an Alain Prost.

Becoming world champion is the ultimate achievement for an F1 driver. But what can their other achievements tell us about how they became one of the greats?

The following is an attempt to find out by borrowing an idea from the world of video games. Here’sLet’s find out how many achievements each world champion unlocked during their careers.

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Winning races

This set of six statistics reveal which drivers most successfully stamped their authority on a season. Each illuminated icon shows a driver who achieved each one.

Back-to-back – Won consecutive races
Five-in-a-row – Won five consecutive races
Home winner – Won their home grand prix (if applicable)
Won half – Won half of the races in a season
Back to front – Won a race having started outside the top ten
Top ten all the way – Finished every race in a season inside the top ten

Back-to-backFive-in-a-rowHome winnerWon halfBack to frontTop ten all the way
Giuseppe Farina
Juan Manuel Fangio
Alberto Ascari
Mike Hawthorn
Jack Brabham
Phil Hill
Graham Hill
Jim Clark
John Surtees
Denny Hulme
Jackie Stewart
Jochen Rindt
Emerson Fittipaldi
Niki Lauda
James Hunt
Mario Andretti
Jody Scheckter
Alan Jones
Nelson Piquet
Keke Rosberg
Alain Prost
Ayrton Senna
Nigel Mansell
Michael Schumacher
Damon Hill
Jacques Villeneuve
Mika Hakkinen
Fernando Alonso
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Sebastian Vettel

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 500, Nurburgring Nordschleife, 1952
Ascari: Almost unbeatable in 1952 and 1953
Unsurprisingly, almost every world champion managed to win consecutive races at some point in their careers. And most of them won their home races too – those who didn’t are largely those who never had home rounds to race at.

It’s notable how few managed to achieve the record of finishing every race in a season inside the top ten. Some came very close: Mike Hawthorn, Juan Manuel Fangio and Phil Hill all finished in the top ten in every race they started in at least one season but each missed one race.

For Hawthorn and Fangio it was the Indianapolis 500, which few F1 drivers contested but which awarded world championship points. And for Hill it was the final race of the season in the USA, where Ferrari did not compete following the death of their driver Wolfgang von Trips in the previous round at Monza.

Dominating seasons

Taking success to another level – these statistics show who reached special levels of dominance.

Won by a lap – Lapped the entire field in a race
Grand slam – Won a race from pole position, led every lap and set fastest lap
Five grand slams – Achieved five ‘grands slams’
Multiple champion – Won at least two world championships
Defended a title – Won back-to-back world championships
Led all year – Led the championship from the beginning to end

Won by a lapGrand slamFive grand slamsMultiple champDefended a titleLed all year
Giuseppe Farina
Juan Manuel Fangio
Alberto Ascari
Mike Hawthorn
Jack Brabham
Phil Hill
Graham Hill
Jim Clark
John Surtees
Denny Hulme
Jackie Stewart
Jochen Rindt
Emerson Fittipaldi
Niki Lauda
James Hunt
Mario Andretti
Jody Scheckter
Alan Jones
Nelson Piquet
Keke Rosberg
Alain Prost
Ayrton Senna
Nigel Mansell
Michael Schumacher
Damon Hill
Jacques Villeneuve
Mika Hakkinen
Fernando Alonso
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Sebastian Vettel

Winning a race by a full lap is almost unheard in the current high-degradation tyre era. The closest anyone has come to doing so recently was Lewis Hamilton in the 2008 British Grand Prix, where he lapped everyone bar Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello who both finished over a minute behind.

Unusual feats

These oddball records reveal which champions followed paths to success which were not entirely conventional.

Title without pole – Won the world championship without starting a race from pole position
Title without fastest lap – Won the world championship without setting fastest lap in a race
Title without most wins – Won the world championship without winning the most races that year
Win-less team mate – Won the world championship while no other driver won a race for the same team
Champion team mate – Won the world championship with a team mate who was already a world champion
No teams’ title – Won the world championship without the team winning the constructors’ championship (if applicable)

Title without poleTitle without fastest lapTitle without most winsWin-less team mateBeat champion team mateNo teams’ title
Giuseppe Farina
Juan Manuel Fangio
Alberto Ascari
Mike Hawthorn
Jack Brabham
Phil Hill
Graham Hill
Jim Clark
John Surtees
Denny Hulme
Jackie Stewart
Jochen Rindt
Emerson Fittipaldi
Niki Lauda
James Hunt
Mario Andretti
Jody Scheckter
Alan Jones
Nelson Piquet
Keke Rosberg
Alain Prost
Ayrton Senna
Nigel Mansell
Michael Schumacher
Damon Hill
Jacques Villeneuve
Mika Hakkinen
Fernando Alonso
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Sebastian Vettel

Niki Lauda, McLaren, Brands Hatch, 1984
Lauda took his final title without a front row start
It’s hard to imagine a driver winning a championship without taking a pole position today – but it has happened. Indeed, Niki Lauda managed to win the 1984 title without ever starting a race from the front row.

Of course there are always different ways to interpret statistics. For example, if a driver won the championship while his team mate couldn’t even win a race does that tell us the champion worked wonder in a great car or that his team mate was not very good?

More than a one-off

Which champions went beyond a period of success with a single F1 team? Drivers who achieved these feats were hot properties – and not necessarily only in F1.

Title with two teams – Won world championships with two or more teams
Won Le Mans – Won the Le Mans 24 Hours
Won Indy 500 – Won the Indianapolis 500

Title with two teamsWon Le MansWon Indy 500
Giuseppe Farina
Juan Manuel Fangio
Alberto Ascari
Mike Hawthorn
Jack Brabham
Phil Hill
Graham Hill
Jim Clark
John Surtees
Denny Hulme
Jackie Stewart
Jochen Rindt
Emerson Fittipaldi
Niki Lauda
James Hunt
Mario Andretti
Jody Scheckter
Alan Jones
Nelson Piquet
Keke Rosberg
Alain Prost
Ayrton Senna
Nigel Mansell
Michael Schumacher
Damon Hill
Jacques Villeneuve
Mika Hakkinen
Fernando Alonso
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Sebastian Vettel

In recent years it’s become far less common to see F1 drivers tackling other forms of motor racing. However there are signs this is beginning to change: Nico Hulkenberg raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours last year and several other F1 drivers have expressed an interest in doing the same.

Overview

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2004
Michael Schumacher: A great among greats
A simple treatment of this data would be to look at who racked up the most of these achievements. And although this is somewhat crude it is a useful starting point.

Michael Schumacher racked up the most with 15, followed by Jim Clark on 12. Seven other drivers make it into double figures, one of which is racing today: Lewis Hamilton.

At the opposite end some drivers have as few as just one of these achievements. But of course we could always come up with more ideas for achievements which would give a different impression (please do suggest any in the comments). And some of these achievements may cause us to question how easily their success was achieved: if a driver can win five races in a row, does it not merely prove their car was unbeatable?

Statistics can’t tell us everything, and they tel us little about anything without context. What I found more revealing was the statistics which challenged the assumptions I often make about drivers. For instance, that ‘hard chargers’ like Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna never won a race from outside the top ten, while the ‘less spectacular’ Alain Prost and Jenson Button have.

Other points which caught my attention were James Hunt being the only driver to win a race for McLaren in his championship season, and Graham Hill finishing every race in 1964 inside the top four. Not forgetting, of course, that Schumacher went one better in 2002.

Over to you

What – if anything – can these accomplishments tell us about F1 world champions? What other game-style ‘achievements’ do you think might be revealing?

And if you enjoyed this article keep an eye out for a full-size graphic version of the data above coming soon.

In addition to the author’s own notes the following sources were consulted in compiling the data above: Grand Prix Data Book (Hayhoe & Holland), Formula 1 All the Races 3rd ed. (Smith), Formula 1 The Knowledge (Hayhoe) and Forix. Data correct up to and including the 2016 German Grand Prix.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 89 comments on “Achievements unlocked: F1’s ultimate champions revealed”

    1. This only confirms that Michael Schumacher is the statistically the greatest F1 driver of all time. I am not sure if, on a level playing field, he would be P1. His mastery of F1 politics helped him secure all these achievements, though. He played the game better than anyone ever had before or have since.

      1. Not sure about that– Jim Clark, who came very close to Schumacher’s tally of achievements, did it in just 72 starts over 8 years.

        1. And in a time when cars were soooo much more prone to breaking down (especially the lotus Jim drove)

          In my mind Jim is the greatest of all time

          1. One way of expressing the effect of unreliability and raw speed is to compare the number of wins with minor placings. In Clark’s case it was 25 wins to 14 minor points placings, of these only one was a second place.

            Once he started winning in ’62 he was never beaten by a team mate in any race where his car finished.

            The GOAT IMO

          2. When you look closely at the races that Clark was leading and almost certainly would have won, only to fall victim to mechanical failure, his stats would have been off these (or most any) charts.

        2. Fangio has only one achievement less and did so in 51 starts. Imho the best of all time. Also in other categories Fangio scores relatively the best of all drivers.

      2. Does it even confirm that? It’s all a fun way of looking at things, but I don’t think it’s that relevant if we want a serious classification of Formula 1’s all time greats. For example, did Ayrton Senna ever qualify outside the top 10 when he was in contention? I know of one race in 1985 (though he almost won the 1984 Monaco GP without qualifying top 10). And as far as I am aware, he never raced at Le Mans or in the Indy 500. Many examples how this methodology is very flawed.

        1. @bobec
          No it doesn’t. And then you get these other repliers who make a case for why yet another driver, in their humble opinions, is the best, all based on pretty much random ‘achievements’.

        2. And about “.. challenged the assumptions I often make about drivers. For instance, that ‘hard chargers’ like Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna never won a race from outside the top ten, while the ‘less spectacular’ Alain Prost and Jenson Button have.” – I wonder why would one assume that Senna would have won (lots of) races from outside the top ten, knowing that he was known to be ‘Magic’ in quali? These two statistics are almost mutually exclusive.
          And Prost and Button are like the other way around, much more known for their race craft than for their quali’s.
          Also, whenever Ham finds himself in the middle of the pack, he usually is bound to stay in there or to crash.

          1. Hamilton or Senna hasn’t won a race from further back because they (almost) always qualify high up front!
            Hamilton stays in the pack? He never did, he always got to the front..
            Winning from further back is hard, you need some luck (safety car, teammate having problems) but it’s always a great feat. to do!

    2. I think this categorically proves Hamilton is the best driver of the current grid. ;)

      Some interesting stats. I’m probably most impressed by Graham Hill in the final test, quite a feat. Almost certainly never to be repeated.

      Great work Keith!

      1. Categorically most successful, but he has only won 3 time out of where 6 were possible. Vettel has had 5 years where it was possible and won 4.

      2. Also, title without most wins isn’t exactly a good achievement, it sort of shows he won a title by luck..

        1. Or that he won by being more consistent.

          1. Uhumm… Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion did the same, so that’s your point as well, right?

        2. @Seb lindl
          he got robbed of the Spa win that year (for cutting a chicane even though he gave the position back plus Dennis specifically asked Charlie Whiting if that was OK, receiving positive response), otherwise he would have had most wins too (6 vs Massa’s 5)

    3. Some of the achievements don’t take into account seasons with quite different lengths (in number of GP weekends), but other than that is a very interesting piece of information!

    4. Very interesting article.

      It would also be interesting to see which champions were also champions in junior categories (F2/F3000/GP2/FR3.5, F3, …)

    5. This.

      This is one of the reasons I come here. Well written, meticulously researched and thought provoking.

      Thanks Keith.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        11th August 2016, 15:22

        +1 the quality of content on this supposed fan-site never ceases to impress, its head and shoulders above most motorsport news websites, let alone the competition

    6. A really telling way to differentiate between some great champions I feel. I’d like to see an achievement for having more wins, poles and podiums than anybody in a season though. That would really identify a dominant season I feel.

      I also wouldn’t mind seeing something like this for drivers who finished say second and third in the championship as well, and how they would fare against some of the champions with fewer things ‘unlocked’.

    7. Winning a race in every season
      Being the only driver to win a championship for a team
      Winning on every track on the calendar during their career

      1. oh yes! Finding out all the tracks raced at in a driver’s career and finding out what % of them the driver won at!

    8. Winning more than X% of the races throughout your career
      Converting more than X% of pole positions into race wins
      Winning a race during every season of your careeer

    9. Great article. How about ‘Winning from outside the top 20’

      1. This only happened once, John Watson started the 1983 United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach from 22nd position.

        Kimi Räikkönen is the ultimate champion with winning the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix from the 17th starting position.
        Jackie Stewart (1973 South African Grand Prix) and Michael Schumacher (1995 Belgian Grand Prix) are second best with a 16th starting position, although they did achieve this great win in a championship winning year.

      2. The better question is who got on the podium from the back of the grid or pit lane.

        Obviously number of finishers matters but it’s an interesting metric rather than the win from the back which by any measure requires none finishers and luck.

    10. Nice way to try and view the F1 champions through a completely different lens @keithcollantine, and a very good read for the summer :-)

    11. Achievements – Battle of the Teammates Addition

      This must surely go to Prost: Four driver World Championships – twice against a teammate that was the reigning World Champion (Senna and Niki Lauda) once against a past World Champion (Rosberg) and once against a future (to be) world Champion (Hill). Also came out on Top against Mansell…. Any driver beat more world champions?

    12. ColdFly F1 (@)
      10th August 2016, 13:52

      New one: Title where driver ‘pulled more weight’ than team
      Take WDC points tally divided by points of next best driver from different team.
      Take WDC’s team points tally divided by tally next best team (or WCC if different).
      Divide 1st over 2nd.
      e.g. Hamilton ’15: (381/278) / (703/428) = 83%
      vs Hamilton ’08: (98/97) / (151/172) = 115%
      Schumacher ’02: (144/50) / (221/93) = 121%

      (simplistically) scores 100% where the driver pulled relatively more weight!

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        10th August 2016, 13:55

        *(simplistically) score below 100% is where the team made most of the difference, and scores above 100% is where the driver pulled relatively more weight.

      2. I love this @coldfly, awesome way to work out how much was down to driver vs team… Although some might argue in Schumacher’s case, that the car was specifically built for him and thus skewing the figures, or that some of Schumacher’s teammates were no better than a Max Chilton….

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          11th August 2016, 10:37

          Thanks @dragoll.
          No (single) measure is perfect, but it’s normally a good conversation starter.
          If I have time I might calculate it for all previous champions and share it here.

    13. Yeah, very interesting to have all this ‘food for thought’ in a condensed space, @keithcollantine thanks.

      It is very much an emotional thing too, I’m sure all would agree. We can have allegiances to some drivers who don’t nearly have the numbers others do, or indeed have things on their CV that aren’t mentioned here. And drivers can be coloured by their cars as we all know…just ask FA who can trundle around in an underperforming Mac and still be touted by many as the best driver on the grid even over LH.

      So for example I make no bones about being a JV fanatic even though I know many around here wouldn’t waste a spit on him. But had these charts included CART Championship as well, you would see that only JV, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Mario Andretti have on their CV a CART title, an Indy 500 win, and an F1 title. JV is among 3 in the world. He nearly won Lemans (came 2nd with Peugeot) and a win would have made him the only one ever with that combination of achievements.

      It isn’t just about who has amassed the most numbers as we know. Gilles is touted amongst the greats without having won a WDC. JV has ‘just’ one WDC but that puts him in an elite group of 32 in the world that have achieved what he has.

      I still love to repeat the little story about when JV was dabbling in music and even did an album. They asked MS at the time what he thought of JV’s music career and he said he hoped it would go better for him than his F1 career. When they asked JV about what Michael said, JV responded that he’d have to thank him for the compliment and the good wishes the next time he saw him, because after all he(JV) is a Formula One World Champion.

    14. Keith, you’re spoiling us! This is a brilliant article, thank you!

    15. Great article! Definitely highlights some names that aren’t oft-mentioned otherwise!

    16. So how do drivers like Rosberg, Amon, Moss compare in this, surely they score higher than several champions.

      1. Hmm, well of course this is a comparison amongst those who actually have the trophy, but yeah for sure as I mention in my post above it is an emotional thing and different people will be affected differently by different drivers. It is far from being about the numbers, including numbers of WDC’s. I personally have little respect for MS due to the controversial Benetton days and my belief that he was moved to Ferrari post-Senna by Max and Bernie to create a new chapter and he had more advantages than any driver in the history of F1 before or since, and still managed to be the biggest bully when I didn’t think he needed to be, but that was his nature and one I could never buy into.

    17. Fascinating review of the great drivers. The one comparison that many of us often wonder about is how would drivers do if they could have raced other successful cars from other eras that made drivers champions? Would Schumacher dominate in Hamiltons current Mercedes ? Would Vettle dominate in the Lotus 79? I suspect any great driver would excell in a great chassis regardless of the era. Maybe the 2017 Grand Prix car will bring the best out of the unexpected….

      1. Yeah good comment. I think so many of the drivers are great at driving cars just as there are so many great golfers where it comes down to the mental aspect…the ability to keep focused when the pressure is at the greatest. We know they can do their craft, but what about under the severest pressure on and off the track, the golf course, the tennis court etc.

        So would MS dominate in LH’s car? I think yes for sure. But SV in more of a beast? Not as sure. Hopefully the new cars next year tax the drivers more physically and mentally so that for the last handful of closely fought laps they’ll be struggling to concentrate, not cruising it in in full conservation mode.

        1. No, MS was beaten by NR for all three seasons sharing a car. NR has in turn been beaten for three seasons by LH, so logic says MS would not have beaten LH in the same car.

          He would however have probably finished second to LH, best of the rest.

          1. He was not in his prime against ros, so hard to say vs lh

          2. Lol, the application of your logic. Try calling Ham 10 years from now, have him sit in the same car as MV, or some junior formulae kid who’s16 at the moment, and have a look at the outcome.

          3. There was little Michael magic in his second carrer. That Monac pole and a few awesome starts here and there.

            In current car he would probably be little behind Rosberg who is little behind Hamilton…

            But Michael in his late 20’s he would certainly be amongst the best today and in his generation was better than anyone else.

            But its all speculation this. How would Jim Clark do with high downforce? How would Fangio compete with men much younger?

    18. Excellent work, thanks for spicing up the off-ish season.

      My conclusion: Clark, Prost or Schumacher. It comes down to personal preference as to who you’d consider the greatest.

      Then there’s Fangio, Brabham, Graham Hill, Stewart, Lauda, Senna, Mansell, Hamilton and Vettel. Those who couldn’t statistically be considered cream of the crop but reached tremendous levels of performance.

      And finally 20 WDCs that made the most of the talent, machinery and opportunities that they had.

    19. Amazing article Keith, I love statistics and this is a very good analysis. I really hope to have the full-size graphics very soon!

    20. Sorry, I don’t understand that last stat about James Hunt. Didn’t Hakkinen win races in 1998, with McLaren champion as well?

      1. But in 99, Mika won without McLaren winning.

        1. Sumedh’s reply doesn’t make sense at all.

    21. Hmm, any table that starts with the premise that Sir Stirling won’t feature may have a bit of a problem…

    22. When did Hamilton lead the championship all year?

        1. Thanks.
          Weird, it certainly didn’t feel like it last year.

      1. I knew F1 fans have short memories but good god man he did it in literally the most recently complete season lol.

    23. I think a good achievement would be “Won a wet race”… another (which may never be unlocked, but I really don’t know) is: “Finished ahead of teammate in every season” – and “Finished ahead of teammate in every race of a season” is good, too.

      1. Well, it would be in a champion year context so the champion woukd have finished ahead of his teammate every season.

        1. @david-beau
          It’s in a champion context, not in a champion year context. So it would be applicable, actually.

    24. Aww man. Another statistic that outlines Damon’s bad luck. He would’ve gotten the 5-in-a-row trophy in 93.

      And there’s no trophy for lapping everyone twice! (Australia 95)

    25. I have an idea for an achievement. “Driver who’s helped most poor children and gave the most back to his community whilst being awesomely quick and the greatest racing driver to have ever lived achievement”. There that’s my suggestion

      1. Not sure what caring for poor children has to do with driving a car fast but ok. Get the stats for us…

        1. @Alex W
          Lol, this is just another prime example of how to come up with a statistic which will prove my favorite driver is better than yours.

    26. When did Alonso lead the championship all year?

      1. 2006 – sort of. After the Chinese Grand Prix, Alonso and Schumacher were tied on 116 points, but Schumacher had seven wins to Alonso’s six, so technically Schumacher led the championship at that point, but I expect it was treated as a joint lead for the purpose of these achievements.

          1. @estesark@keithcollantine
            Thanks for the reply. Yes I was aware that both Schumacher and Alonso were equal on points after China in 2006. However, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a “joint lead” in Formula 1. If China had been the last race of the season, Alonso and Schumacher would not have been “joint Champions”. Schumacher would have been champion, and him alone. Number of race wins are a tie breaker for a reason. Schumacher lead the WDC after China, hence IMO Alonso has never lead the championship for a whole season.

    27. @keithcollantine

      First of all, wonderful article.
      I also think one of the greatest achievements for a driver is to win a championship while having as a teammate another champion.

      From my (quick and superficial) Wikipedia research I came up with the following list:

      Year Champion Teammate
      50 – Farina -> Fangio
      51 – Fangio -> Farina
      52 – Ascari -> Farina
      53 – Ascari -> Farina
      54 – Fangio -> Ascari
      58 – Hawthorn -> P. Hill
      67 – Hulme-> Brabham
      68 – G. Hill -> Clark
      70 – Rindt -> Fittipaldi/ G. Hill
      74 – Fittipaldi -> Hulme
      84 – Lauda -> Prost
      85 – Prost -> Lauda
      86 – Prost -> K. Rosberg
      87 – Piquet -> Mansel
      88 – Senna -> Prost
      89 – Prost -> Senna
      93 – Prost -> D. Hill
      96 – D. Hill -> Villeneuve.

      The greatest of all according to this? Alan Prost. He won all of his championships (4) having F1 champions as teammates!

      1. Another fascinating article – great work Keith, thank you!

    28. Great article, thanks!

    29. Fangio was world champion five times with four different teams in just seven seasons. In his 51 Grand Prix starts, 29 times he started from pole, in 23 of them he set the fastest lap and got 35 podiums, 24 of which were in the top drawer. He won his last championship when he was 46 years old.

      No other world champion matches such statistics. To win five world championships with four different teams proves that it was his ability as a driver what made him a champion and not the fact of having the best car of each season.

      1. I think it is fair to say that those early generations lost a lot of their potential due to having more pressing matters on their hands in the decade before the first F1 championship @mariano.

        Just imagine what the likes of Fangio, Ascari and Farina (and quite a few German aces) could have shown us on the tracks in the 1940s!

      2. @mariano
        That’s no proof whatsoever. You’re treating the order of strength of teams as something static, which obviously isn’t.

        1. @krxx
          You have a point there as they aren’t static at all.

    30. This sort of dedication and hard work should never go unrewarded, and it’s not a one-off as well as we have seen time and again. I wish there was some sort of ranking for F1 websites based on voting fans; and if there isn’t, perhaps FIA or FOM should encourage this in the interest of the sport.

    31. For me one statistic that really adds weight to a driver is winning the WDC without a constructors winning car. Having the fastest car does not guarantee that you have the best car and here’s why. Take the 2012 Mclaren for instance. They could, and should have won both championships that year but thanks to unreliability they ended up with no championships. A constructors winning car is usually fast with the best chassis and engine- but it obviously has to be reliable. Imagine if the W07 was this dominant in qualy, race pace but broke down all the time and handed the Red Bulls or Ferraris the championship. This is what I mean. But going back to my fundamental point- driver’s who win without a constructors winning car are clearly outdriving the car and extracting more than the car is capable of doing all round. Very rare in the history of F1 that the WDC isn’t in the constructors’s championship winning car as Keith showed. Overall a fantastic read though, great work to Keith and his team.

      1. Imagine if the W07 was this dominant in qualy, race pace but broke down all the time and handed the Red Bulls or Ferraris the championship.

        Which was basically early 2013 (except instead of retiring team Brackley just dropped like a stone)

        1. That Merc had incredible pace in qualifying but woeful race pace as it just shredded it’s tyres.

          1. And my excuse for hating on them for the Barcelona that test that coincided with their change in fortune.

      2. 2007 is a good example of a distorted stat. Kimi effectively won the championship withou the best car, and Ferrari only won the Constructors Championship because McLaren was excluded

    32. Winning with A weak car does almost never happen. Winning without having a teammate tied contractually is the biggest indicator of greatness for me. Winning without cheating the rules whith the likes of Mclaren, Williams and Brawn, RB and Ferrari are out for me and therefore their drivers.

    33. Everyone who has won both a WDC title and the Le Mans 24 hours are dead.

    34. Versatility is a great measure, which is why I respect those who won podiums/poles/races/championships for the most different teams and different racing classes, except perhaps the feeder series, that only Hamilton, among the F1 Champs, had won.

      The extreme examples of versatility are John Surtees (F1 and Moto champion) and Jack Brabham (Driver and Constructor champion).

      Are there any other champions which had excelled in Motos, Endurance (not only Le Mans), Rallying or Turing cars?

      1. Tazio Nuvolari, who really is the greatest of all.

        1. It’s a shame Nuvolari and Caracciola were ‘only’ european champions in the 30’s, so they would surely rank high in this list.

          Another one remembered Andretti, that won on every racing class in the U.S and is also an F1 World Champion.

          In Brazil, surely Emerson Fittipaldi is the most versatile, and raced at the highest level until his late 40’s. His second Indy 500 win was the same year as Senna’s last F1 win (1993).

    35. Thanks Keith this was fun. Really made me think about Jim Clark more and Hill as well. It also made me really think about those that went to CART and or Indy and won there as well. What Mansell did when he went over and won in his first try is just downright hard to fathom.

    36. Mario Andretti.

      If you see motorsport as a collection of race results and statistics, you’ll find Andretti won one championship in a very dominant car. He ‘scores’ very little accolades in above stats and if you would classify all the champions, he would surely be at the bottom of the list.

      If you see motorsport as an ever-unfolding history and determine Andretti’s value in that light, you’ll see a driver who raced everything with wheels on it, was a leading figure for three decades and left a huge legacy. Rank him that way and he surely is in the very top cluster of all time greats.

      I don’t really care which method is ‘right’, I only know that I’m much more interested in ‘motorsport as a history’ than in ‘motorsport as a math exercise’.

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