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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Nico Rosberg, Formula 1
Nico Rosberg, Formula 1 (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /

Top Formula 1 drivers of all-time: #21 – Nico Rosberg

In 2016, just days before his unexpected retirement, Nico Rosberg joined father Keke by becoming a Formula 1 world champion, making the Rosberg name just the second to produce a father-son championship duo.

He did so in a dramatic season finale that saw teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton strategically try to force him into a mistake to erase the five-point difference between the two in the driver standings.

It didn’t work, and Rosberg, who sits in a 12th place tie on the all-time wins list, prevailed.

It’s no secret that the V6 turbo hybrid era, which began back in 2014, has resulted in sheer dominance from Mercedes, and 2016 was no exception.

In fact, it was arguably the team’s most dominant season, as they won 19 of 21 races and lost one potential victory thanks to a first-lap collision between Rosberg and Hamilton that ended the former’s seven-race winning streak and further fueled the bitter rivalry between the two.

It is true that, for all intents and purposes, Hamilton dominated Rosberg during their four seasons as teammates, specifically in 2014 and 2015 when he won both world titles.

But more than four years after his 2016 title, Rosberg remains the only driver to beat the dominant Hamilton during the era of Mercedes dominance. Without his gutsy effort, Hamilton would be entering the 2021 season as a seven-time reigning champion and the sport’s lone eight-time champion.

He deserves a ton of credit for making that happen, especially for using a seven-race winning streak from 2015 to 2016 to get his championship-winning season off to a start that Hamilton could ultimately not overcome, not even by closing out the year with four straight wins.

While he is still criticized for walking away when he did, he deserves credit for going out on top after achieving his ultimate goal.