Formula One is one of the most exhilarating and watched motor sports in the world. Every race is a showcase for incredible team work and advancements in racing technology. However, at the end of the day, this all would not be possible without the expertise of individual drivers. So, to add to this season’s excitement we decided to put together a list of Formula One drivers that, in our view, had made this sport so special over the past 30 years.
Ayrton Senna…. Does this name ring a bell? Senna has to be one of the greatest if not the greatest F1 driver of all times. He is a true legend.
His racing career began same as many other Formula One drivers’ career, on a go – kart track. However, what he went to achieve in his 10 year long career is absolutely remarkable. He held the record for the most poll positions between 1989 and 2006, incredible speed in a one lap qualifying and was acclaimed for his wet race performance. Senna was loved and admired by millions and his tragic death on 1st May 1994 left us with a massive void in our hearts.
Alain Prost also known as the Professor earned his nickname for a relaxed and intellectual approach to his driving style. He was skilled at setting up his car for any race condition and often preserved it early in a race leaving it fresher for a challenge on final laps.
In many people’s eyes Prost was also Senna’s greatest nemesis. Following Senna’s death, Prost admitted that a lot of his motivation came from rivalry with Senna. He also said “a part of him had died also” on that day.
Another driver whose personality and performance shone during this era was Nigel Mansell. The beginning of his racing career and rise to the top was tough. Despite countless misfortunes while racing in Formula Ford and Formula Three, which would have put others off, he kept going and eventually got a chance to join Formula One Lotus squad.
In F1 Mansell was infamous for his aggressive driving style and daring maneuvers, which were a pleasure to watch and made him millions of fans. To me, he is an amazing example of truly passionate and determined individual.
Michael Schumacher, statistically the most successful Formula One driver of all time. His incredible record of seven world championship titles still remains intact.
In 1996 he joined then poorly performing Ferrari. This collaboration turned out to be explosive. In the following ten years the two managed not only to turn the team’s fortunes around but also to break majority of records standing. Eventually Schumi announced his retirement in 2006.
Let’s be honest, in contrast to other Formula One drivers, Mika Hakkinen is different…in a good way. He is very quiet and favours super cool driving style. I would say he is a typical Finn. However, not for his quietness or coolness he is being called Flying Finn.
He might not speak much but he certainly likes to push his cars to their limits, driving flat out even in the most challenging conditions. During one of his interviews Michael Schumacher confessed that Mika is the driver he respects the most.
In the recent years, you have probably noticed that Formula One drivers and champions, in fact, are getting younger. The next two drivers are perfect examples of this.
Lewis Hamilton may have only won one world championship so far, but what a win that was.
He made us all grip our chairs and sofas when 2008 Formula One championship win came down to the last corner of the last race in one of the most adrenaline-charged season in the recent F1 history. On that day Lewis Hamilton was 23 years and 300 days young.
And finally, how can we forget Sebastian Vettel, officially the youngest world champion and double title holder in the 61 year history of Formula One. This whiz kid seems to be unstoppable. To date, he has won three consecutive world championship titles including the last year’s one.
The ease with which he won 2011 title was astonishing. It appeared that he was winning for sake of fun. That year no other driver came anywhere near Sebastian. Many have speculated that this was down to technical superiority of Red Bull Racing RB7 over its rivals, however, it must be remembered that Formula One is, first and foremost, a team sport.
This is our selection of Formula One greatest drivers, but what is yours. Also, as the 2013 season has just started. We would like to know who, do you think, will win it? Share your prediction with us in the comments below or tweeting us @CarhootsUK
Finally, I would like to say personal thank you to my friend Keith Gooding for his contribution in creating this amazing article
By Stas R ( GetHypedDundee )