Hamilton, Schumacher, Senna: Who is the greatest F1 driver of all time?


Deciding who the true GOAT of Formula 1 is truly a tough debate to have.

Some say Michael Schumacher, some say Lewis Hamilton, and some say Ayrton Senna.

Hamilton is very much on course to at least tie Schumacher’s all-time record for Drivers’ Championship wins and could do so by gaining his seventh title this season.

Could he overtake the German in years to come? You'd imagine so.

So, how does the top 30 list of the greatest drivers of all time look and how is it decided?

Well, thanks to website Ranker, which allows fans to vote on lists by either voting said subject up and down to create one communal list, a list of the top 71 drivers has been made.

Today, we’ll be focusing on the top 30; so here goes.

30. Felipe Massa

The Brazilian was part of a freak accident when he was hit in the head by a spring, knocking him unconscious as he reached 175mph, but he's still undeniably one of the greatest talents the sport has ever seen.

29. Max Verstappen

Youngest ever competitor in F1 history, making his debut at just 17-years-old, and giving Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas a run for their money this season.


28. John Surtees

The only racer to win Drivers’ Championships in both F1 and the top level of motorbike racing.

27. Juan-Pablo Montoya

After retiring from F1, Montoya went on to take part in Nascar and the IndyCar series.

26. Ronnie Peterson

The ‘Super Swede’ tragically died after a multi car crash at Monza 1978.

25. Jochen Rindt

Rindt was the first Austrian F1 driver, he also died at Monza after colliding with the guardrails in 1970.

24. Mario Andretti

One of two racers to win races in F1, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR.

23. Jenson Button

Won the Drivers’ Championship in 2009 and now helps present for Sky Sports F1.


22. Nico Rosberg

Rosberg retired in 2016 after winning his only Drivers’ Championship that year.

21. Nelson Pique

A three-time world champion picked up his first F1 win at the 1980 United States Grand Prix West.

20. Graham Hill

The only driver to ever win the Triple Crown of Motorsport (24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.)

19. James Hunt

His rivalry with Niki Lauda in the 1970’s inspired the 2013 film Rush, and brought a whole new fanbase to the sport.

18. Nigel Mansell

Won F1 World Championship in 1992 and then a year later won the CART Indy Car World Series in 1993.


17. Emerson Fittipaldi

Won the F1 World Championship and Indianapolis 500 twice and the CART championship once

16. Alberto Ascari 

Raced motorcycles before switching to cars and won back-to-back titles in 1952 and 53.

15. Mika Häkkinen

Driving for McLaren, he won the 1998 and 1999 F1 World Championships.

14. Stirling Moss

The first British driver to win a home Grand Prix.

13. Jack Brabham

The Australian won three world championships and is a founder of the Brabham racing team.

12. Gilles Villeneuve

The Canadian icon died whilst qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. His son Jaques would go on to become F1 World Champion in 1997, becoming the only Canadian to do so.

11. Kimi Räikkönen

‘The Iceman’ left F1 for a two-year stint in the World Rally Championship in 2010 before returning to F1.


10. Jackie Stewart

The ‘flying Scot’ won three Drivers’ Championships during his career

9. Sebastian Vettel

The German has picked up four world championships so far in his career, but is currently suffering in a rather poor Ferrari. Still, it doesn't take away how good he used to be.

8. Alain Prost

Held the record for most Grand Prix wins between 1987 and 2001.

7. Jim Clark

As well as competing in F1, Clark also raced in the Indianapolis 500, touring cars and other sports cars.

6. Niki Lauda

A three-time F1 World Championship winner and an aviation entrepreneur.

5. Fernando Alonso

Won two consecutive world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 and will return to racing with them next year.


4. Juan Manuel Fangio

Won five championships in his career as well as 24 race wins.

3. Lewis Hamilton

On course to tie Schumacher’s record for most world championships, potential to top this list one day.

2. Michael Schumacher

Could debatably top this list, the seven-time World Championship winner is an icon in F1.

1. Ayrton Senna

Senna won three world championships and tragically died after crashing into a concrete barrier while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

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