BBC’s Top 20 F1 drivers ever (list)


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    Top 4 is always Senna, Clark, Fangio and Schumacher. Thats the order i think we’ll see them although despite being a Schumi fan i’d put Clark top every day.


    Top 4 is always Senna, Clark, Fangio and Schumacher. Thats the order i think we’ll see them although despite being a Schumi fan i’d put Clark top every day.


    Top 4 is always Senna, Clark, Fangio and Schumacher. Thats the order i think we’ll see them although despite being a Schumi fan i’d put Clark top every day.

    Prost deserves to be up there, more than either Senna or Clark. IMO both Senna and Clark, especially Senna are overrated because they died on track, I know I’m going to get attacked for this, but that’s just my opinion.


    In no particular order:
    Clark, Fangio, Ascari, Moss & Stewart – maestros, gentlemen & sportsmen.
    Lauda, Prost, Senna, Mansell & Schumacher – gladiators and opportunists.
    Vettel & Hamilton – boy racers who may yet become gladiators or maestros. Or just stay boy racers.


    And of course Alonso – a man among boys, already a gladiator, perhaps the only maestro of the current bunch… so far.



    Looking at it like that does give more weight to the argument that Clark is the best F1 driver. However, you opened with mentioning his poor reliability, which may have cost him even more titles.

    Maybe that is true, and it is definitely necessary to look at the full range of a driver’s career to judge their performance – but its a very dangerous game if we start getting into hypotheticals. After all, how do we know he wouldn’t have retired later from, say, a spin?

    Its incorrect to say that he would have been champion in X year if he didn’t have poor reliability – because it takes no account of the possibility of crashing out, or other events which would affect the championship.


    Fittipaldi is #17.

    If Hamilton and Vettel really are on the list, they better start showing up soon, or this whole list will have no credibility whatsoever.


    @cjpdk Oh I know it’s not possible to make any certain predictions (although as I said I think it looks like an oil leak certainly cost him at least 1 extra championship). But it just shows a wider range of stats often need to be looked at, and their reliability at least considered (unless you aren’t looking at any stats, purely apparent driving skill). What would be interesting would be to see how many of each driver’s retirements were a result of car trouble or driver error. I don’t know if Clark made many errors or not, and that goes for any other historic driver.


    I guess I’ve never fully appreciated Fittipaldi, and it’s partly because it’s so long ago without much footage available – but also the what-might-have-been factor of his choice of team, a bit like Jacques Villeneuve.

    He deserves a top-20 place for me, considering what he achieved so young, against strong opposition (although many of them lost their lives during his career) and inspiring a generation of Brazilian racers.

    Murray Walker should’ve saved the outfit he wears in this video for the Alonso one!


    If Hamilton is on the list, he should have shown up by now. He’s only won one title and his last few years have been erratic. 2007 is still his best year in my opinion, which doesn’t reflect well on Hamilton.

    I think it’s safe to say Alonso, Schumacher and Vettel are in the top 20, though I’m not entirely sure about Vettel. I think Raikkonen being in the top 15 can be justified (though he should only be 14th or 15th). Raikkonen’s McLaren years is what made him a great driver, he was consistent when the car wasn’t breaking down, and when he drove slow McLaren’s, he often put them further forward than they should have been. His first year and the first half of his second year at Ferrari were also as solid as his McLaren years. However the second half of his Ferrari career seemed to stick more in people’s minds rather than his good days. I thought Raikkonen on his day was solid as ever, but he lost his consistency.


    I usually demand Senna comes out on top of these polls, which he does however I feel that cos its Murray drivers from the sixty’s and earlier should not simply be forgotten. Moss famously said it took him five years to learn how to properly brake and all drivers need time to adapt to racing. This is why I am so heavily in favour of Clark. He started racing in the summer of ’56 yet was an f1 driver by 1960. If you discount (and I know this is controversial and in many was re-writing history) his first 2 seasons of f1 then Clark’s record is almost unbelievable. Of the 58 starts he made, he won 25, was on pole 33 times, on the podium 29 times and retired from 20. He finished out of the points 4 times in 6 full seasons. Of those four races, Clark led in Monza ’65 until his fuel pump failed with 12 laps remaining, he led the first 11 laps of the 62 Dutch GP before finishing 10 laps down (safe to say he retired but is still classified) and in the ’64 US GP he had fuel injection issues and only completed 102 of the 110 laps yet had set fastest lap and pole.

    What impresses me about Clark is that he was always quick, always. He either finished on the podium or had a mechanical problem. A truly staggering record.


    I remember hearing Murray Walker say, in a video for the BBC website at some point in the last few years, that he thinks Fangio is the greatest ever F1 driver.


    The 4 from today’s grid will be schumi, Alonso, vettel and Lewis. Only schumi and Alonso should be top 10. Hamilton should come up very soon and vettel should be no higher than 13th or so.

    My top 10th? Roughly it would be…

    Senna, Schumi, Fangio, Clarke, Prost, Mansell, moss, Stewart, Alonso, Piquet


    Piquet is 16th

    There are four current drivers on this list and one or two of them should have shown up by now in my opinion, depending on who they are (Alonso and Schumacher definitely, and the other two likely to be Vettel, Raikkonen or Hamilton). If it’s Hamilton, he should have appeared already on this list. I could understand why Raikkonen or Vettel have yet to appear on this list, but definitely not Hamilton. If Button appears, this list has no credibility.

    As for Piquet, 16th seems slightly low for me. I would have put him around 10th, 11th or 12th. He did lack a bit of class, but he was a fantastic driver in my opinion (definitely better than Mansell for me), and won the title three times.


    I don’t think he was better than Nigel Mansell by the why, one of the most unluckiest drivers in Formula One in my opinion.
    He could of been World Champion at least three times aswell.

    I also think that 16th is very low for a three times World Champion, even if you do take his last F1 years into consideration.

    As others have said here. I believe that Ayrton Senna will be on the top of the list. As always.

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