Which F1 driver has the longest win drought: 2018 edition

2018 F1 season

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Most Formula One drivers pile up trophies early in their careers but when they reach the top of the sport their chances of victories shrink unless they’re in a competitive car.

Charles Leclerc, Prema, Formula Two, Yas Marina, 2017
Leclerc is one of F1’s most recent winners
Valtteri Bottas is a great example. After moving from Williams to Mercedes last year he ended a victory drought which lasted almost six years.

Now he is F1’s most recent race-winner, having won the 2017 season finale at Yas Marina. He shared that accolade with new Sauber driver Charles Leclerc, who signed off a dominant Formula Two campaign by elbowing Alexander Albon aside for victory earlier the same day.

Last year Felipe Massa went into the season as the driver who’d spent the longest waiting for a win. Had luck been on his side he might have won at Baku, which would have been his first victory since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, but it wasn’t to be.

Now Massa has retired, Sergio Perez takes his place as the currently active driver who has waited the longest for a win. He last stood on top of the podium at Yas Marina, shortly before making his F1 debut with Sauber.

Here’s how long he – and the rest – have been waiting for another win.

F1 drivers’ last wins

Two world champions, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, have gone almost five years without winning a race. Raikkonen came close on two occasions last year, in Monaco and Hungary, but ended up following team mate Sebastian Vettel, arguably because his championship bid took priority.

Meanwhile a victory-starved Alonso is embarking on am ambitious programme of racing this year. His desire to win motor racing’s ‘triple crown’, by adding the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours to his previous Monaco Grand Prix success, has led him to enter the World Endurance Championship this year. Regardless of how competitive his McLaren-Renault is, his chances of scoring at least one win in his five WEC outings for Toyota are very strong.

Over to you

Will we see any new winners in F1 this year? Will Alonso or Raikkonen end their waits for a victory – and if so, when?

Have your say in the comments.

NB. Grosjean won the 2012 Race of Champions but as this isn’t a ‘race’ in the traditional sense it hasn’t been included.

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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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30 comments on “Which F1 driver has the longest win drought: 2018 edition”

  1. Ericsson, a more recent race winner than Alonso or Raikkonen.

    1. ” ” !!!

      (I’m speechless but it’s true)

    2. Yeah, but he only won the ‘most forgetable F1 driver’ award.

  2. I’m fairly sure Alonso will at least win one WEC round this year, I’d be surprised if he didn’t.

    1. That would be one of the biggest surpirises of the WEC really @flatsix

    2. I’m fairly sure he can be 2018/19 WEC superseason champion. He has the fastest car and will race every race (at least in 2018) question is if after winning lemans he will bother with any other WEC races.

  3. The position of Raikkonen is unbelievable. Driver at a top team in a winning car for so many years. And they still let him continue …..

    1. He could easily have passed Vettel’s crippled car in Hungary last year but Ferrari told him not to. I’d love to see him get one last win before retirement though.

      1. Disagree, he wasn’t fast enough to pass vettel in hungary, it’s one of the tracks where it’s really hard to overtake, that he was faster than vettel cause of his problems, fine, but not fast enough to win.

        Even hamilton wasn’t fast enough to pass raikkonen, slowed by a vettel with steering problems.

    2. Do not worry. Just only 1 more season and we’ll have Leclerc in that Ferrari seat next season.

      1. @krichelle, assuming that Leclerc does well – and that in itself is still a big if, since the sport has seen a number of hot shots in junior series never quite managing the same level of performance in F1 – that would require a fundamental shift in the overall management of Ferrari.

        At 21, it would require Leclerc to be the second youngest driver that Ferrari would have hired in their entire career – I think that only Ricardo Rodriguez would be younger – and, with only 21 races under his belt, I think he would be the least experienced driver to drive for Ferrari since Gilles Villeneuve in 1977 (only Alesi, back in 1991, would have had a comparable level of experience, but even then he was still more experienced than Leclerc would be).

        Ferrari did not try and rush figures like Bianchi into the parent team, but instead wanted to wait and see if they could prove themselves in a smaller team and a lower pressure environment (I believe that, before his accident, Ferrari were looking to promote him to Sauber, not the main works team). It is not really in their interests to rush him into the parent team, and unlikely to happen in reality – they could probably quite easily pick up another driver off the grid if they wanted to give Leclerc a bit more time to mature at Sauber.

    3. @dutch-1 That’s because Vettel wanted it, remember how Vettel said that Raikkonen had to sign first. Vettel doesn’t want a better teammate cause he know’s he will not make it like in 2014.

      1. @noname I don’t but I would like to see that piece of news/video or whatever it is that you heard/saw/read with Vettel making a hissy fit while crying and saying “I won’t sign this until Kimi signs it first, or else I will tell my mama”

        1. It was aired after the Mexican GP last year, I guess you must have turned it off after that awesome podium DJ.

  4. Will we see any new winners in F1 this year? – No.
    Will Alonso or Raikkonen end their waits for a victory – and if so, when? – I wish so, but at the same time, I doubt it.

    1. It is very likely that Alonso will win this season, not in F1 though. And the article isn’t only F1 related

      The only mew winners that I can think of are the Renault drivers, but the chances of that happening are very slim

      1. If fortune is a [expletive], and I think she most often is, Carlos will be Renault’s only winning driver this season.

      2. I agree, really doubt renault will be good enough to win a single race. The race winners should be the same as past year with the addition of raikkonen if he gets it together and alonso if mclaren is as good as red bull which is as good as last year or better in relation to other 2 teams.

  5. Whether we see new winners this year will obviously be mainly down to the car/engine combinations, but it’s fairly clear that Vandoorne, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Perez and Ocon could all almost certainly win a race if circumstances favoured them. As for everyone else yet to win a race, I’d be surprised if they have machinery to get near the podium, let alone the top step.

    As for Alonso and Raikkonen, I’d guess that neither will win in Formula One this year. Raikkonen missed a huge opportunity last year with a package running close to the Mercedes cars. This year, it’s certainly possible that Mercedes have pulled away even more, or Red Bull have caught up; though Ferrari surprised us last year. I hope Alonso can win in the McLaren and be racing near the front again. More likely, he’ll have to settle for wins in his Toyota in WEC. I’m sure if you offered Alonso 100 points in the F1 season (regular points and the odd podium) and victory in Le Mans, he’d take it now.

  6. During one of the ePrix last year Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti tried to figure out similar stuff, and they were quite in shock when they realized the margin Nick Heidfeld tops this unfortunate list…

    1. I have followed quick Nick since 2005, never seen him win, but he is still better than half the current F1 grid…

    2. Nick’s last win actually came in the Petit Le Mans of 2013, sharing a car with Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost.

      But it’s amazing to think that Nick last won a race individually in the 20th century!

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        12th February 2018, 13:13

        Yup that’s a single-seater stat. Ironically he would have one the first FE race if Petit Le Mans teammate Prost didn’t take him out on the final lap.

        1. That sort of sums up Nick’s career…

  7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    11th February 2018, 18:27

    Every time I get reminded of Baku, it makes me think of Massa. I mean Stroll was under 5 seconds behind Ricciardo and although Stroll was great that day, Massa was on another level. Every restart until he had his problems, he was fighting with cars that were clearly better than his like Vettel at one stage. I think he could well have managed to beat Ricciardo that day and get a win that he had waited ages for. And if he had been kept at Williams for this season and their car goes the right direction, with certain circumstances like there was at Baku, I think he could have had another chance to win this year. I think he easily was good enough to deserve another season.

    1. Definitely, massa wasn’t as bad as people kept saying and had good chances of winning baku in the circumstances if you remove his suspension problem.

      Doubt stroll will improve by 1 sec per lap this year and sirotkin, while probably better than him, won’t be any better than massa, we’ll see how their decision “based on performance” pays off soon.

  8. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    12th February 2018, 13:12

    RoGro’s Trophee Andros win overlooked again

  9. I think it’s sad if we think how few drivers triumphed in the last four and a half year, especially since many of these drivers are good or at least decent.

    Perez, Grosjean and Hulkenberg, no one questions they belong to the F1 field, but the closest they came to the win was 2012: Perez was on Alonso’s tail in Sepang, Grosjean in Valencia, while Hulkenberg battled with Hamilton in Brazil. Raikkonen and Alonso’s last wins came in early 2013.

    In 2006-2010 we had Alonso, Fisichella, Schumacher, Massa, Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Kubica, Kovalainen, Vettel, Webber and Barrichello winning races, 12 in total. Since Monaco 2013 only Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Bottas winning. And 90% of those came from the first three. Not only three teams are capable of winning, but the driver changes there at the top are rare.

    Even in Schumacher era (2000-04) we had Hakkinen, Coulthard, Barrichello, Montoya, Ralf, Fisichella, Alonso, Trulli and Raikkonen winning races. So ten drivers when the top teams’ drivers were staying put at their teams for years.

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