Ranked: Top 5 Greatest British F1 Drivers Of All Time

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2021 Silverstone Grand Prix

Since the inception of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, Great Britain has produced a plethora of fantastic drivers who have gone on to create memorable moments in the sport.

Mike Hawthorn became the first man from the United Kingdom to lift the world title in 1958 and his achievement was soon matched by the likes of Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and John Surtees.

Following James Hunt's memorable triumph in 1976, British F1 fans had to wait until 1992 to see Nigel Mansell win his first and what turned out to be his only Drivers' Championship.

Damon Hill matched this particular achievement in 1996 before Lewis Hamilton won his maiden title in 2008. 

Jenson Button then exceeded all expectations with Brawn during the following season as he finally realised his dream of becoming a champion.

In recent years, Hamilton has become an iconic figure in the world of motor racing as he has won multiple titles for a dominant Mercedes team.

Here, we take a look at the five greatest British Formula One drivers of all time.

Check them out below!

5. Damon Hill

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Damon Hill decided to follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a Formula One driver in 1992 as he debuted for Brabham.

The British driver was drafted in as a replacement for Riccardo Patrese at Williams for the following season and went on to win his first race for the team at the Hungaroring.

A tense battle with Michael Schumacher resulted in Hill narrowly missing out on winning the World Championship in 1994 as the two drivers collided in Australia.

Hill put this disappointment behind him in 1996 as he beat his German rival to the title by picking up 97 points in 16 races.

In total, Hill won 22 races in 115 Formula One starts whilst he also claimed 20 pole positions and 19 fastest laps.

4. Nigel Mansell

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During his storied Formula One career, Nigel Mansell managed to win over the hearts of the British public by producing some fantastic performances.

Whilst Mansell missed out on winning the world title on two occasions in the 1980's, he finally achieved his dream with Williams in 1992.

An utterly superb set of displays by the British driver saw him triumph in nine of the 16 races that he participated in during this particular season.

Mansell also claimed 14 pole positions in 1992 as he stormed his way to victory.

As well as winning 31 races in 187 starts, Mansell recorded 30 fastest laps and was on the podium on 59 occasions.

3. Jim Clark

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An iconic sporting figure in the 1960's, Jim Clark managed to illustrate his abundance of talent by producing a host of fine displays for Team Lotus.

The British driver won his first world title in 1963 by claiming seven victories in 10 race starts.

Clark backed up this achievement by winning another Drivers' Championship in 1965.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time, Clark was tragically killed in an accident at the Hockenheimring in 1968.

During his time with Team Lotus, Clark managed to win 25 races and claim 32 podium finishes in 72 starts.

2. Jackie Stewart

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Jackie Stewart is one of only two British drivers who have won three or more World Drivers' Championships.

After missing out on the title in 1968, Stewart was victorious during the following season as he claimed the spoils for Matra International.

The British driver backed up this particular triumph by winning world titles in 1971 and 1973 before retiring from the sport.

As well as securing 27 victories in 99 starts, Stewart managed to claim 17 pole positions during his Formula One career.

The Scotsman later returned to the sport as the owner of Stewart Grand Prix which participated in Formula One from 1997 to 1999.

1. Lewis Hamilton

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After bursting onto the scene during his rookie season for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton claimed the first of his seven World Drivers' Championships in 2008 at Interlagos.

The 36-year-old's decision to move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013 turned out to be a masterstroke as the German team have dominated Formula One in recent years.

Hamilton won two consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015 before being edged out by his former rival Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Undeterred by this particular setback, the British driver has gone on to win four more titles and will be looking to add to his collection later this year.

During his career to date, Hamilton has won the most races in Formula One history (99), claimed the most pole positions (101) and has recorded the most podium finishes (173).


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