Famous 20th Century F1 Drivers

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Find out more about the greatest 20th Century F1 Drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda, James Hunt and Ayrton Senna.
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 1 
Michael Schumacher
(German Formula One Racing Driver and Record Winning 7-Time World Drivers' Championship Winner)
Michael Schumacher
26
Birthdate: January 3, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hürth, Germany

With seven Formula One championship under his belt, Michael Schumacher is the most successful racer of Formula 1 and one of the greatest motor sports driver in the world. The retired German racer was the face of Ferrari for a decade and with his tremendous on track success also became one of best paid athletes in the sport’s history.

 2 
Niki Lauda
(Former Formula One driver)
Niki Lauda
18
Birthdate: February 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 20, 2019

Austrian Formula One driver and aviation entrepreneur Niki Lauda was a three-time F1 World Drivers' Champion. Considered to be one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, he was once involved in a near-fatal accident. He founded and ran three airlines as an aviation entrepreneur and also served as the team manager of the Jaguar Formula One racing team.

 3 
Ayrton Senna
(One of the Greatest F1 Drivers in the History of the Sport)
Ayrton Senna
10
Birthdate: March 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil
Died: May 1, 1994

Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian racing driver. Widely considered one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, Ayrton had won the prestigious F1 World Drivers' Championship thrice. Following his fatal accident in 1994, several safety improvements were introduced to the sports' set-up; higher crash safety standards, redesigned tracks, and improved crash barriers became part of the sport.

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 4 
Kimi Raikkonen
(Finnish Racing Driver Nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ and Winner of the 2007 Formula One World Championship)
Kimi Raikkonen
22
Birthdate: October 17, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Espoo, Finland

With 21 Grands Prix wins Kimi-Matias Räikkönen, nicknamed ‘The Iceman’, thrived as the most successful Finnish racing driver with regard to Formula One race wins. He was the winner of the 2007 Formula One World Championship competing for Scuderia Ferrari. He took 103 podium finishes and with this became one of the five drivers who have taken more-than 100 podiums.

 5 
Jenson Button
(British Racing Driver Who Won the 'Formula One World Championship' title in 2009)
Jenson Button
17
Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frome, England

Jenson Button is a British racing driver best known for winning the Formula One World Championship title in 2009. A popular driver, Button is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy and the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy. In 2017, Jenson Button was made an inductee of the FIA Hall of Fame.

 6 
Alain Prost
(Four-time Formula One Drivers' Champion, from 1987 until 2001)
Alain Prost
6
Birthdate: February 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lorette, Loire, France
 7 
Jackie Stewart
(British Retired Racecar Driver Who Competed in 'Formula One')
Jackie Stewart
6
Birthdate: June 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Jackie Stewart is a British retired racecar driver who competed in Formula One. He won three World Drivers' Championships between 1965 and 1973. He is best known for playing a key role as a campaigner for better safety measures at motor racing circuits. After retiring from racing, Jackie Stewart appeared as a sports commentator for ABC network.

 8 
Mika Häkkinen
(Former Racing Driver and One of the 3 Finnish F-1 Drivers to Win a World Championship)
Mika Häkkinen
7
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vantaa, Finland

Mika Häkkinen was 5 when his parents got him a go-kart for racing near their home. He later grew up to be one of the 3 Finnish F-1 drivers to earn a World Championship. Noted for his speed, he earned the nickname The Flying Finn.

 9 
Nigel Mansell
(British Formula One Racing Driver and Winner of 1992 World Championship )
Nigel Mansell
14
Birthdate: August 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, England
 10 
Max Verstappen
(The Most Successful Dutch Racing Driver and 2021 Formula One World Champion)
Max Verstappen
18
Birthdate: September 30, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium
 11 
James Hunt
(British Racing Driver Who Won the Formula One World Championship in 1976)
James Hunt
10
Birthdate: August 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belmont, Surrey, England,
Died: June 15, 1993

James Hunt was a British racing driver who earned the nickname 'Hunt the Shunt' for his action-packed and often reckless exploits on the track. In 1976, he won the Formula One World Championship in his first year with McLaren, which inspired several teenagers to take up motor racing. James Hunt has inspired racers, such as Kimi Räikkönen.

 12 
Rubens Barrichello
(Racing Driver Who Competed in Formula One Between 1993 and 2011)
Rubens Barrichello
11
Birthdate: May 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil

Rubens Barrichello is a Brazilian racing driver best known for competing in Formula One and scoring 11 Grand Prix wins between 1993 and 2011. From 2000 to 2005, he drove for Ferrari as Michael Schumacher's teammate and contributed to five constructors' titles for Ferrari.

 13 
Juan Manuel Fangio
(Entrepreneur, Formula One driver, Racecar driver)
Juan Manuel Fangio
5
Birthdate: June 24, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Balcarce, Argentina
Died: July 17, 1995

Juan Manuel Fangio was an Argentine race car driver who dominated the first 10 years of Formula One racing. He won the World Drivers' Championship on five occasions, a record which was broken by Michael Schumacher after 46 years. Juan Manuel Fangio is also the only Argentine racer to have won the prestigious Argentine Grand Prix.

 14 
Emerson Fittipaldi
(Brazilian Formula One Racing Champion in 1972 and 1974)
Emerson Fittipaldi
6
Birthdate: December 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil

Emerson Fittipaldi is a Brazilian retired racing driver best known for winning both the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One World Championship twice each. In 1972, he won the World Drivers' Championship at the age of 25, becoming the youngest F1 world champion. In 2001, Emerson Fittipaldi was made an inductee of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

 15 
Nelson Piquet
(Racecar driver)
Nelson Piquet
9
Birthdate: August 17, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While he initially excelled in tennis, Nelson Piquet later made a name for himself as one of Brazil’s top racers. A 3-time world champion, the Formula One star later also ventured into business. He owned a GPS-tracking company and also launched the racing team Piquet Sports.

 16 
Jim Clark
(One of the Greatest Formula One Racing Drivers and Two-Time World Champion in 1963 and 1965)
Jim Clark
3
Birthdate: March 4, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fife
Died: April 7, 1968
 17 
Graham Hill
(British Racing Driver Who Won the 1962 and 1968 'Formula One' World Championship Title)
Graham Hill
6
Birthdate: February 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: November 29, 1975

Graham Hill was a British racing driver remembered for winning the Formula One World Championship title in 1962 and 1968. Counted among the greatest drivers of his era, Hill is the only driver to win the prestigious Triple Crown of Motorsport. Hill is also credited with inspiring his son Damon, who won the Formula One World Championship title in 1996. 

 18 
David Coulthard
(Racecar Driver)
David Coulthard
24
Birthdate: March 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Twynholm
Former race-car driver David Coulthard, also known as DC, gained fame for his 15-season stint with Formula One. He has 13 Grand Prix wins and 62 podium finishes to his credit. Following his retirement from F1, he worked a BBC commentator and later joined the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series.
 19 
Carlos Sainz Jr.
(Racing driver)
Carlos Sainz Jr.
8
Birthdate: September 1, 1994
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
 20 
Stirling Moss
(Race-Car Driver Who Was Considered as One of the Greatest Drivers Who Never Won a World Championship)
Stirling Moss
7
Birthdate: September 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 12, 2020

British Formula One race-car driver Stirling Moss won several contests such as the British Grand Prix and the New Zealand Grand Prix. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, too. He later had a broadcasting career with Wide World of Sports and narrated Roary the Racing Car.

 21 
Bruce McLaren
(Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver)
Bruce McLaren
6
Birthdate: August 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greater Auckland
Died: June 2, 1970

Bruce McLaren was a New Zealand engineer, inventor, racing car designer, and driver. He is credited with founding McLaren Automotive in 1963. Formula One's successful team, McLaren, is named after him. McLaren has been inducted into various halls of fame, including the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, and International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

 22 
Juan Pablo Montoya
(Colombian Racing Driver)
Juan Pablo Montoya
10
Birthdate: September 20, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia

Juan Pablo Montoya is a Colombian racing driver who currently competes for DragonSpeed Racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In 1998, Montoya won the Formula 3000 International Championship title. The following year, he went on to win the CART FedEx Championship Series. In October 2009, Juan Pablo Montoya was named in Times Online's Top 50 Formula One Drivers list.

 23 
Susie Wolff
(British Retired Racing Driver Who Competed in 'Formula One')
Susie Wolff
14
Birthdate: December 6, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oban

Susie Wolff is a British retired racing driver who competed in Formula One. Wolff made history in 2014 when she became the first woman in 22 years to participate in a Formula One race weekend. Susie Wolff is the current CEO of Venturi Racing, which competes in Formula E.

 24 
Jacques Villeneuve
(Canadian Formula One Driver and Winner of 1997 Formula One World Championship )
Jacques Villeneuve
10
Birthdate: April 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada

Canadian race-car driver Jacques Villeneuve is known for his association with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Son of F1 driver Gilles Villeneuve, he has won 11 Grands Prix and is the only Canadian to win the Indianapolis 500 and the F1 Drivers' title. He has also released a music album.

 25 
Robert Kubica
(Racing driver)
Robert Kubica
8
Birthdate: December 7, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland
 26 
Mark Webber
(Racing driver)
Mark Webber
16
Birthdate: August 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Queanbeyan, Australia

Mark Webber is an Australian former racing driver. From 2002 to 2013, Webber competed in Formula One, winning the 2010 British Grand Prix. From 2014 to 2016, he competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship, winning the 2015 season for Porsche alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley. In 2019, Mark Webber was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame.

 27 
Christian Horner
(British Retired Racing Driver & Current Team Principal of 'Red Bull Racing')
Christian Horner
20
Birthdate: November 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Royal Leamington Spa

Christian Horner is a British retired racing driver. He is currently serving as the Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, which competes in Formula One. Over the years, he has helped the team win many world titles, including five World Drivers' Championship titles. Christian Horner has also served as the head of Arden International, which competed in International Formula 3000.

 28 
Jack Brabham
(Formula One driver, Directeur sportif)
Jack Brabham
3
Birthdate: April 2, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hurstville
Died: May 19, 2014

Jack Brabham was an Australian professional racing driver best remembered for winning the Formula One World Championship thrice during his illustrious career that lasted 15 years. He is credited with founding the eponymous Formula One racing team and racing car manufacturer. Early in his career, Brabham contributed immensely to the design of racing cars introduced by the Cooper Car Company.

 29 
Damon Hill
(British Retired Racing Driver Who Won the 1996 'Formula One World Championship' title)
Damon Hill
5
Birthdate: September 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Damon Hill is a British retired racing driver best known for winning the Formula One World Championship title in 1996. He is currently a part of the broadcasting team of Sky Sports F1, providing expert analysis. Damon Hill is also known as the son of former Formula One World Champion, Graham Hill.

 30 
Colin McRae
(British Rally Driver Who Died in a Helicopter Crash in 2007)
Colin McRae
10
Birthdate: August 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lanark
Died: September 15, 2007

Colin McRae was a British rally driver who won the British Rally Championship title in 1991 and 1992. In 1995, he became the youngest person and the first British driver to win the World Rally Championship Drivers' title. Colin McRae's career was cut short by his sudden demise in 2007 when he was killed in a helicopter crash. 

 31 
Keke Rosberg
(Former Finnish Racing Driver Who Won the 1982 'F1 World Championship')
Keke Rosberg
7
Birthdate: December 6, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solna Municipality

Keke Rosberg is a Finnish retired racing driver best known for winning the Formula One World Championship in 1982. Rosberg was the first Finnish champion in the history of the Formula One World Championship. Keke Rosberg has also achieved popularity as the father of the 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg.

 32 
Gilles Villeneuve
(Canadian Formula 1 Racing Driver)
Gilles Villeneuve
5
Birthdate: January 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada
Died: May 8, 1982
Canadian race-car driver Gilles Villeneuve is remembered for his 6-year stint with Grand Prix, racing with Ferrari. He won six races but died in a violent collision with Jochen Mass’s car during a qualifying race for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. His son, Jacques, later became a F1 champion.
 33 
Dario Franchitti
(British Retired Racing Driver Who Won the 'IndyCar Series' on Four Occasions)
Dario Franchitti
7
Birthdate: May 19, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bathgate

Dario Franchitti is a British retired racing driver best known for winning the IndyCar Series on four occasions. He also won three Indianapolis 500 titles and a 24 Hours of Daytona title during his career. A recipient of the McLaren Autosport Award, Dario Franchitti was made an inductee of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2019.

 34 
Gerhard Berger
(Austrian Retired Formula One Racing Driver)
Gerhard Berger
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wörgl

Gerhard Berger is an Austrian retired Formula One racing driver who competed in 14 Formula One seasons, finishing twice as the third overall in the championship. Berger won ten Grands Prix during his illustrious career that spanned more than a decade. With 210 starts under his belt, Gerhard Berger is counted among the most experienced F1 drivers of all time.

 35 
Ryan Newman
(Racecar driver)
Ryan Newman
8
Birthdate: December 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: South Bend

Racing driver Ryan Newman, or Rocket Man, is best known for his association with the NASCAR Cup Series. Apart from being honored with awards such as the Sunoco Rookie of the Year, he has had seven wins in the Xfinity Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series.

 36 
Chase Elliott
(Racecar driver)
Chase Elliott
8
Birthdate: November 28, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dawsonville

Racing driver Chase Elliott made history when he became the third-youngest driver to secure a NASCAR Cup Series win. His non-profit Chase Elliott Foundation offers financial help to charities. One of Elliott’s first odd jobs was washing dishes at a restaurant, and he began racing at age 8.

 37 
Roland Ratzenberger
(Austrian Formula One Racer Who Died during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix Qualifier)
Roland Ratzenberger
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: April 30, 1994

Austrian Formula One racing driver Roland Ratzenberger was in his teens when he first showed an interest in racing. He was killed while qualifying for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, while uncannily, Brazilian world champion racer Ayrton Senna died during the race the next day.

 38 
Martin Brundle
(British Retired Racing Driver Who Competed in 'Formula One')
Martin Brundle
5
Birthdate: June 1, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: King's Lynn

Martin Brundle is a British retired racing driver who competed in Formula One. After his retirement, Brundle started working as a commentator. Over the years, he has worked for television networks like BBC, ITV Sport, and Sky Sports.

 39 
Dan Wheldon
(British Racing Driver & 'Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame' Inductee)
Dan Wheldon
5
Birthdate: June 22, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Emberton
Died: October 16, 2011

Dan Wheldon was a British racing driver best remembered for winning the IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship title in 2005 for Andretti Green Racing (AGR). He is also remembered for winning the Indianapolis 500 twice. Dan Wheldon was killed at the age of 33 while competing in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship when his car collided with a fence post.

 40 
Denny Hamlin
(Racecar driver)
Denny Hamlin
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tampa

Part of the Joe Gibbs Racing team of the NASCAR Cup Series, Denny Hamlin boasts of 17 wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and two in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. While he began racing go-karts at age 7, he began racing mini stocks by age 16.

 41 
John Surtees
(British Motorcycle Road Racer and Racecar Driver)
John Surtees
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tatsfield
Died: March 10, 2017

John Surtees was a British motorcycle road racer and racecar driver. He won the Grand Prix motorcycle World Championship title on seven occasions and the 1964 F1 World Championship title, becoming the first person to win World Championships on both four and two wheels.

 42 
Alex Zanardi
(Italian Motorsports Racing Driver)
Alex Zanardi
4
Birthdate: October 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy

One of Italy’s best-known paracyclists and race car drivers, Alex Zanardi has four Paralympic gold medals in his kitty, apart from his 12 World Championship gold medals. Following a 2001 race car accident, he lost both his legs. The former Formula One racer has won CART Championships, too.

 43 
Alberto Ascari
(Italian racing driver)
Alberto Ascari
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: May 26, 1955

A multitalented racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion, Alberto Ascari began his racing career with motorcycles, eventually shifting to automobiles, making his debut at Mille Miglia. Later, he started participating in other events, winning a total of thirteen races, including 1951 German Grand Prix and 1953 Swiss Grand Prix before passing away at the age of 36 while testing a car.  

 44 
Hélio Castroneves
(Racecar driver)
Hélio Castroneves
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: São Paulo

Brazilian racing driver Hélio Castroneves is a 4-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Though accused of tax evasion once, he was eventually acquitted the charge. He has also been part of the show Dancing with the Stars and gained the nickname Spider-Man for his unique way of celebrating one of his track victories.

 45 
Austin Dillon
(Racecar driver)
Austin Dillon
5
Birthdate: April 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lewisville

Apart from being a popular racing car driver, Austin Dillon is also known as the grandson of the legendary NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richard Childress. The three-time NASCAR Cup Series winner also holds the record for the most number of back-to-back poles in the Nationwide Series.

 46 
Roger Penske
(Formula One driver, NASCAR team owner)
Roger Penske
5
Birthdate: February 20, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shaker Heights

The founder-chairman of the transportation company Penske Corporation, Roger Penske, apart from being an entrepreneur, is also a former race-car driver. The self-made auto magnate was also named to the Forbes Billionaires 2021 list and owns auto-racing companies such as Team Penske, IndyCar, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 47 
Ben Collins
(British Racing Driver and Winner of the 2003 ASCAR Championship)
Ben Collins
5
Birthdate: February 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bristol
 48 
Brad Keselowski
(NASCAR team owner, Racecar driver)
Brad Keselowski
5
Birthdate: February 12, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rochester Hills

NASCAR Cup Series racing driver Brad Keselowski, the son of former race driver Bob Keselowski, once also owned Brad Keselowski Racing. His non-profit Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation, which he runs with his wife, funds organization to help with the treatments of war veterans and first responders.

 49 
Justin Wilson
(British Racing Driver)
Justin Wilson
7
Birthdate: July 31, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England
Died: August 24, 2015

Justin Wilson was a British open-wheel racing driver who took part in the IndyCar Series as well as the Formula One. He won many races, including the International Formula 3000 Championship title and the 2012 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2006 and 2007, Justin Wilson was honored with the prestigious Greg Moore Legacy Award.  

 50 
Jochen Rindt
(German-Born Austrian Racer Who Became the First Posthumous F-1 Champion)
Jochen Rindt
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mainz, Germany
Died: September 5, 1970

Though born in Germany, racer Jochen Rindt competed for Austria throughout his illustrious career, which saw him score 6 Grand Prix wins. At 28, he was killed in a practice race for the Italian Grand Prix. He later became the only racer to be posthumously named the F-1 World Champion.