Since the creation of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, Great Britain has produced many racing drivers who have significantly impacted the sport. This article looks at some of the greatest British racing drivers of all time.
6. Mike Hawthorn [1952-1958]
John Michael Hawthorn was one of the most important pioneers of British racing. Hawthorn won 1 world championship, 3 races, 18 podiums, and 4 pole positions during his short career and was the first man to lift the Driver’s Championship. He won the Hours of Le Mans in 1955 and, three years later, the F1 championship. He is remembered for taking part in some of the most fateful moments in the early and extremely dangerous days of racing.
5. Damon Hill [1992-1999]
Damon Hill followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a Formula One driver in 1992. He was constantly battling Michael Schumacher in the mid-’90s until 1996 when he beat Schumacher by picking up 97 points in 16 races. Throughout the course of his career, Hill won 22 races in 115 Formula One starts and claimed 42 podiums and 20 pole positions.
4. Nigel Mansell [1980-1995]
Statistically, Mansell is the second-best British racing driver in F1 history. He currently sits 7th in the all-time race winners list, having won 1 world championship and 31 races and claimed 59 podiums and 32 pole positions. He waited a long time to win his world championship before taking the title in 1992. Mansell was involved in some of the iconic races of the era with racing legends such as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
3. Jim Clark [1960-1968]
Considered one of the most successful drivers in racing history at the time of his death, Clark is still recognised for his prowess fifty years later. His ability to adapt to any car that he was given and find a pace where others couldn’t set him apart from his fellow drivers. He won his first world title in 1963 and later backed up this achievement by winning another Driver’s championship in 1965. During his time with Team Lotus, Clark won 25 races and claimed 32 podiums and 33 pole stations, but he was tragically killed in an accident in 1968.
2. Sir Jackie Stewart [1965-1973]
Until recently, Jackie Stewart was the best and the most successful F1 driver in Britain. He competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, but in his relatively short career, he won three World Driver’s Championships and 37 races and claimed 43 podiums and 17 pole stations. He won his first title in 1969 and two more later in 1971 and 1973 before retiring from racing.
1. Lewis Hamilton [2007-present]
Hamilton made his debut in 2007 during his rookie season with McLaren. One year later, he won his first title, making him the youngest driver ever to win a world championship. In 2013, he decided to move to Mercedes, and this might have been the best decision he ever made. He won two consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015 before being edged out by Nico Rosberg in 2016. Undeterred by this setback, Hamilton has gone on to win four more titles. In total, Lewis Hamilton has won 5 world championships and 79 races and claimed 142 podiums and 86 pole positions.
Who is your favourite British racing driver?
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