F1 has been around for decades and has produced quite a few drivers who have found a place in the hearts of ardent followers of the sport. Since F1’s inception, the sport has kept on growing, and because of that, today, it is considered the pinnacle of motor racing all over the globe. A big chunk of credit for that goes to the F1 drivers.
The racers are the ones who have played a huge role in keeping the sport not only alive but making it a global phenomenon. There is no other racing category that even comes close to the heart-throbbing action that F1 can produce on a regular basis. Without the F1 drivers, the sport would not have been able to reach the heights it has reached in modern times.
While in the long history of F1, there have been several prolific drivers who have come from all over the globe, but with the help of this piece, the focus is going to be on the most successful F1 drivers who have come from European countries. Moreover, the list contains, some of the biggest names that have stepped foot in F1 at some point in their racing careers.
Starting from the bottom to top, the first man on the list is the former 2-time F1 World Champion, Max Verstappen. On this esteemed list, he is the youngest of the lot and, so far in his career, has done some stupendous things in the sport. His caliber is so high that several fans believe he is one of the best drivers who have ever stepped foot into F1.
Max Verstappen’s first F1 entry came in the year 2015 with the Toro Rosso(AlphaTauri) F1 team, but since then, he has now made himself into one of the hottest properties in the sport. The Dutchman, in his young career, has so far amassed 36 race wins and has already got two World Championships in his locker. The Red Bull driver has got all the skills in his arsenal to do unprecedented things at the pinnacle of motor racing, and the way things have been turning out for him, he can a few years down the line, become a real threat to Lewis Hamilton’s and Michael Schumacher’s 7 F1 World Championships record.
4. Alain Prost – France
The next man on the list is the former 4-time F1 World Champion, Alain Prost. The Frenchman started making his trade at the pinnacle of motor racing from 1980 onward and kept racing in the sport until 1993. Moreover, during that time, he jumped ship quite a bit and participated in F1 for teams like McLaren, Renault, Ferrari, and the Wantage-based-Williams F1 team.
His career was full of accolades, and other than his four World Championships; he amassed 51 race wins and 106 podiums in his 202 starts. He was also able to amass a total of 768.5 points by the time he decided to call it a day at the pinnacle of motor racing. His last F1 appearance came at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.
3. Sebastian Vettel – Germany
With two Champion drivers out of the way, it is time to have a look at the ultimate GOATs of the sport. First up is the former 4-time F1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel. He is an absolute legend of the sport for many reasons. While racing skills always managed to entice the fans, his off-track exploits also played a major role in defining his character as a person.
The German made his F1 debut in 2007 at the United States Grand Prix and kept racing until the 2022 season. Moreover, during that time, he participated in F1 for teams like BWT Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari, and the Silverstone-based Aston Martin team. However, most of his successful years came at Red Bull. With the Milton-Keynes-based team, he won World Championship in consecutive years. He drove with the number 5 throughout his career, and by the time of his last race in the sport, in 2022, he amassed a brilliant total of 300 starts, along with 122 podiums and a huge 3098 career points.
2. Michael Schumacher – Germany
The penultimate name on this list of legends is the former 7-time F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher. He took part in his first race at the pinnacle of motor racing in 1991 at the Belgian Grand Prix and, after that, never looked back. During his prime years, he was a force to be reckoned with whenever he took his various cars for a spin.
He raced for teams like, Jordan, Renault, Ferrari, and the Brackley-based Mercedes F1 team. However, most of his Championship winning years came with the Italian giants, the Ferrari F1 team. During his 12-year-long spell, he won a massive 91 races and was able to land his cars on the podium 155 times. This is a staggering record, and there is only one other driver who has got a better record than the German maestro.
1. Lewis Hamilton – England
Lewis Hamilton is the name that has, over the years, become synonymous with the sport. While most of the above-mentioned drivers are not racing anymore, Hamilton is still doing his thing at the pinnacle of motor racing. His first F1 entry came with McLaren in 2007 at the United States GP, and since then, he has amassed 7 World Championships and has won a record 103 races with 4443.5 points in the sport.
Moreover, he has so far had 313 starts at the pinnacle of motor racing and has managed to land his car on the podium 192 times. He is a man with most of the records in F1. He is tied on World Championships with Michael Schumacher, and his sole objective in the sport now is to win the record-breaking eighth World Championship.
Rishabh Negi is an F1 author at FirstSportz who ardently follows the sport and is also a passionate supporter of the Arsenal football team. He has done his Master's degree from the Delhi School of Economics and sees writing about F1, as something, that provides him solace to disconnect from the everyday chaos of life.
FirstSportz is the First Stop for all sports fanatics. Starting in 2019, we initially covered Olympic Sports, but in 2021 we added every other sport which you might be looking for, like NFL, Golf, MLB, WWE Cricket, Football, Tennis, Esports, NBA, MMA and more.