Tuesday, Mar 21

Hamilton Officially Greatest F1 Driver of All Time According to New Statistical Study

Friday, Nov 20 29712

A new study from money.co.uk recently took on the greatest drivers in Formula 1 history.

To see how some of the greatest drivers in history stack up against each other, they analyzed the performance of over 700 drivers from Formula 1's 70-year history to see how they performed in 9 different categories including career win%, championship points per race (adjusted for the current scoring system), and 2nd and 3rd place podium finishes to score and rank, on balance, the best drivers of all time.

What about Reliability and Manufacturer Bias?

To account for manufacturer reliability and performance, they accounted for the percentage of races where drivers were forced to retire due to mechanical issues as well as drivers' average number of points per race (adjusted) vs teammates over the duration of their careers.

They’ve outlined the top 10 below, but you can find the top 50 here: https://www.money.co.uk/ guides/best-formula-one- drivers

Top 10 greatest drivers of all time:

  1. Lewis Hamilton - 92.2 points
  2. Juan Manuel Fangio - 91.6 points
  3. Michael Schumacher - 86.4 points
  4. Jim Clark - 78.5 points
  5. Alberto Ascari - 78.4 points
  6. Alain Prost - 77.1 points
  7. Ayrton Senna - 70.7 points
  8. Jackie Stewart - 70.0 points
  9. Sebastian Vettel - 68.4 points
  10. Niki Lauda - 61.1 points

By equalling Schumacher's record of 7 championship wins, Lewis Hamilton surpasses Juan Manuel Fangio in our F1 driver rankings.

They also highlighted the top 10 drivers by career win % and career points (adjusted for current scoring system) below, but you can find all the data for the top 50 drivers here.

Top 10 drivers by career win %

  1. Juan Manuel Fangio - 47.1%
  2. Alberto Ascari - 40.6%
  3. Lewis Hamilton - 35.6%
  4. Jim Clark - 34.7%
  5. Michael Schumacher - 29.6%
  6. Jackie Stewart - 27.3%
  7. Alain Prost - 25.6%
  8. Ayrton Senna - 25.5%
  9. Stirling Moss - 24.2%
  10. Sebastian Vettel - 20.9%

Most total career points (adjusted)

  1. Lewis Hamilton - 4,127 (15.6 per start)
  2. Michael Schumacher - 3,961 (12.9 per start)
  3. Sebastian Vettel - 3,240 (12.8 per start)
  4. Kimi Räikkönen - 2,820 (8.6 per start)
  5. Fernando Alonso - 2,761 (8.8 per start)
  6. Alain Prost - 2,502.5 (12.6 per start)
  7. Ayrton Senna - 1,875.5 (11.6 per start)
  8. Nico Rosberg - 1,757 (8.5 per start)
  9. Nelson Piquet - 1,689 (8.3 per start)
  10. Nigel Mansell - 1,521 (8.1 per start)



  • We analysed driver performance on a range of data points that are typically associated with success (detailed below) across the duration of their careers.
  • To mitigate manufacturer bias (i.e. cars with superior engineering) we took into consideration drivers average points per start vs their teammates.
  • We also looked at the % of races where drivers were forced to retire due to a mechanical fault to account for improved reliability.
  • Findings were scored and weighted using a min-max normalisation formula with final rankings weighted towards championship wins, reliability, and team performance to emphasise performance against peers and avoid manufacturer bias.

Win %, Championship Wins, Points Per Start, Podium %, Pole %, Fastest Laps, Mechanical DNF %, Average Points Vs Teammate

Statsf1.com, Formulapoints.com, Formula1.com, Racing-statistics.com
Only drivers with more than 10 career points (adjusted) or 21 GP starts (length of 2019 season) were considered


Reposted with permission from the author. You can find the original post at https://www.money.co.uk/guides/best-formula-one-drivers

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

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