Top 25 Formula 1 drivers of all-time

Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Formula 1 (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images)
Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Formula 1 (Photo by Paul-Henri Cahier/Getty Images) /
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Juan Manuel Fangio, Formula 1
Juan Manuel Fangio, Formula 1 (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images) /

Top Formula 1 drivers of all-time: #3 – Juan Manuel Fangio

It’s a pity that Formula 1 only saw Juan Manuel Fangio compete in 51 races from 1950 to 1958. Even still, in those 51 races, Fangio did more than most were able to accomplish throughout much longer spans.

Fangio’s win percentage of 47.06%, which translates to 24 victories, good for 11th all-time, is the greatest in the history of the sport, and it would not be considered “going out on a limb” to say that this will never change.

While the V6 turbo hybrid era dominance of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton itself has produced a win percentage that is actually slightly higher (52.55%, 72 wins in 137 races), Hamilton himself has no chance to break that record, and he may very well be the last driver ever to climb within 15% of it. Hamilton’s is 35.71% (95 for 266).

Back to Fangio. His 24 wins in 51 starts netted him five world championships, which remained an all-time record until the early 2000s. He won four in a row from 1954 to 1957 and five of six titles from 1951 to 1957. He did not compete in 1952 and he did not win the 1953 title.

To this day, only two drivers have surpassed five titles, and both needed streaks of at least four titles in a row to do so. Additionally, 10 of his 27 non-wins were second place finishes, and 10 others were retirements.

So he only ever actually “finished” outside the top two seven times. He nearly won that many titles!

He only competed in the Monaco Grand Prix four times. He won in his first and last attempts. In fact, his first Monaco victory was his first career Formula 1 victory.