Ranking Formula 1 drivers- Who was the best?

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Listening to this month’s Motorsport Magazine Podcast, Gary Anderson mentioned a table he used to rank drivers through time.  He took their percentage of wins, fastest laps, poles and championships throughout their Formula 1 career and added them together.  The end result gives a ranking of drivers through time taking out the variation of the number of races in a season and the fact that most drivers have a much longer career these days.

I thought it would be interesting to see what this table looked like, so after a bit of research in the excellent Forix database, I was able to create something similar, and the result is below:

 

Driver

Total

Wins

Fastest Laps

Poles

Championships

Juan Manuel Fangio

51.14%47.06%45.10%56.86%55.56%

Alberto Ascari

38.80%40.63%37.50%43.75%

33.33%

Jim Clark35.42%34.72%38.89%45.83%

22.22%

Sebastian Vettel

34.58%32.50%18.33%37.50%50.00%

Bill Vukovich

30.00%40.00%60.00%20.00%0.00%
Michael Schumacher28.49%29.74%25.16%22.22%

36.84%

Ayrton Senna26.23%25.47%11.80%40.37%

27.27%

Lee Wallard

25.00%50.00%50.00%0.00%0.00%

Alain Prost

23.40%25.63%20.60%16.58%

30.77%

Jackie Stewart23.23%27.27%15.15%17.17%

33.33%

Stirling Moss

19.32%24.24%28.79%24.24%

0.00%

Niki Lauda

16.44%14.62%14.04%14.04%23.08%

Damon Hill

16.39%19.13%16.52%17.39%12.50%

Lewis Hamilton

16.36%17.05%10.08%24.03%

14.29%

Mika Häkkinen15.57%12.42%15.53%16.15%

18.18%

Nino Farina15.53%15.15%15.15%15.15%

16.67%

Nigel Mansell

14.22%16.58%16.04%17.11%7.14%

Nelson Piquet

13.94%11.27%11.27%11.76%21.43%
Fernando Alonso12.57%14.88%9.77%10.23%

15.38%

James Hunt12.27%10.87%8.70%15.22%

14.29%

Kimi Räikkönen

12.27%10.42%20.31%8.33%10.00%
Jochen Rindt11.49%10.00%5.00%16.67%

14.29%

Mike Hawthorn

10.79%6.67%13.33%8.89%14.29%
Jack Brabham10.62%11.11%9.52%10.32%

11.54%

Phil Hill

10.59%6.25%12.50%12.50%11.11%
José Froilán González10.58%7.69%23.08%11.54%

0.00%

Mario Andretti

9.60%9.38%7.81%14.06%7.14%

Emerson Fittipaldi

9.06%9.72%4.17%4.17%

18.18%

Alan Jones8.95%10.34%11.21%5.17%

9.09%

Juan Pablo Montoya

8.51%7.45%12.77%13.83%0.00%
Duke Nalon8.33%0.00%0.00%33.33%

0.00%

Jack McGrath

8.33%0.00%16.67%16.67%0.00%
Pat Flaherty8.33%16.67%0.00%16.67%

0.00%

Graham Hill

8.03%7.95%5.68%7.39%11.11%
Tony Brooks7.89%15.79%7.89%7.89%

0.00%

Jim Rathmann

7.50%10.00%20.00%0.00%0.00%
Jacky Ickx7.46%7.02%11.40%11.40%

0.00%

Jacques Villeneuve

7.33%6.75%5.52%7.98%9.09%
John Surtees7.33%5.41%9.01%7.21%

7.69%

Jody Scheckter

6.83%9.01%4.50%2.70%11.11%
Ronnie Peterson6.71%8.13%7.32%11.38%

0.00%

Denny Hulme

6.52%7.14%8.04%0.89%10.00%
Eddie Sachs6.25%0.00%0.00%25.00%

0.00%

Jerry Hoyt

6.25%0.00%0.00%25.00%0.00%
Johnny Thomson6.25%0.00%12.50%12.50%

0.00%

René Arnoux

6.21%4.70%8.05%12.08%0.00%
Gilles Villeneuve5.97%8.96%11.94%2.99%

0.00%

Keke Rosberg

5.63%4.39%2.63%4.39%11.11%
Johnnie Parsons5.56%11.11%11.11%0.00%

0.00%

Felipe Massa

5.24%5.76%7.33%7.85%0.00%
Gerhard Berger5.12%4.76%10.00%5.71%

0.00%

Bob Sweikert

5.00%20.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Dick Rathmann5.00%0.00%0.00%20.00%

0.00%

Ludovico Scarfiotti

5.00%10.00%10.00%0.00%0.00%
Pat O’Connor5.00%0.00%0.00%20.00%

0.00%

Walt Faulkner

5.00%0.00%0.00%20.00%0.00%
Jenson Button4.92%6.07%3.24%3.24%

7.14%

Mark Webber

4.77%4.19%8.84%6.05%0.00%
Clay Regazzoni4.73%3.79%11.36%3.79%

0.00%

David Coulthard

4.37%5.28%7.32%4.88%0.00%
Didier Pironi4.29%4.29%7.14%5.71%

0.00%

Mike Parkes

4.17%0.00%0.00%16.67%0.00%
Carlos Reutemann4.11%8.22%4.11%4.11%

0.00%

Jean-Pierre Jabouille

4.08%4.08%0.00%12.24%0.00%
Dan Gurney3.78%4.65%6.98%3.49%

0.00%

Luigi Fagioli

3.57%14.29%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Stuart Lewis-Evans3.57%0.00%0.00%14.29%

0.00%

Rubens Barrichello

3.26%3.42%5.28%4.35%0.00%
Fred Agabashian3.13%0.00%0.00%12.50%

0.00%

Paul Russo

3.13%0.00%12.50%0.00%0.00%
Sam Hanks3.13%12.50%0.00%0.00%

0.00%

Troy Ruttman

3.13%12.50%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Jacques Laffite2.84%3.41%3.98%3.98%

0.00%

Jimmy Bryan

2.78%11.11%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Piero Taruffi2.78%5.56%5.56%0.00%

0.00%

Ralf Schumacher

2.78%3.33%4.44%3.33%0.00%

Wolfgang von Trips

2.78%7.41%0.00%3.70%

0.00%

Riccardo Patrese

2.64%2.34%5.08%3.13%0.00%
Peter Revson2.50%6.67%0.00%3.33%

0.00%

Carlos Pace

2.46%1.41%7.04%1.41%0.00%
Giancarlo Baghetti2.38%4.76%4.76%0.00%

0.00%

Lorenzo Bandini

2.38%2.38%4.76%2.38%0.00%
Peter Collins2.34%9.38%0.00%0.00%

0.00%

Karl Kling

2.27%0.00%9.09%0.00%0.00%
Onofre Marimón2.27%0.00%9.09%0.00%

0.00%

Tony Bettenhausen

2.27%0.00%9.09%0.00%0.00%
Chris Amon2.08%0.00%3.13%5.21%

0.00%

Jo Siffert

2.08%2.08%4.17%2.08%0.00%
Luigi Musso2.08%4.17%4.17%0.00%

0.00%

Rodger Ward

2.08%8.33%0.00%0.00%0.00%
John Watson1.97%3.29%3.29%1.32%

0.00%

Patrick Tambay

1.97%1.75%1.75%4.39%0.00%
Teo Fabi1.95%0.00%3.13%4.69%

0.00%

Richie Ginther

1.92%1.92%5.77%0.00%0.00%
Nico Rosberg1.87%2.04%2.72%2.72%

0.00%

Patrick Depailler

1.84%2.11%4.21%1.05%0.00%
Eugenio Castellotti1.79%0.00%0.00%7.14%

0.00%

Heinz-Harald Frentzen

1.76%1.92%3.85%1.28%0.00%
Bruce McLaren1.75%4.00%3.00%0.00%

0.00%

François Cevert

1.63%2.17%4.35%0.00%0.00%
Gunnar Nilsson1.61%3.23%3.23%0.00%

0.00%

Richard Attwood

1.56%0.00%6.25%0.00%0.00%
Michele Alboreto1.55%2.58%2.58%1.03%

0.00%

Jean-Pierre Beltoise

1.49%1.19%4.76%0.00%0.00%
Hans Herrmann1.47%0.00%5.88%0.00%

0.00%

Roberto Mieres

1.47%0.00%5.88%0.00%0.00%
Pedro Rodriguez1.39%3.70%1.85%0.00%

0.00%

Brian Henton

1.32%0.00%5.26%0.00%0.00%
Esteban Gutierrez1.32%0.00%5.26%0.00%

0.00%

Elio de Angelis

1.16%1.85%0.00%2.78%0.00%
Jean-Pierre Jarier1.12%0.00%2.24%2.24%

0.00%

Vittorio Brambilla

1.01%1.35%1.35%1.35%0.00%
Innes Ireland1.00%2.00%2.00%0.00%

0.00%

Alessandro Nannini

0.99%1.32%2.63%0.00%0.00%
Robert Kubica0.99%1.32%1.32%1.32%

0.00%

Giancarlo Fisichella

0.98%1.31%0.87%1.75%0.00%
Maurice Trintignant0.91%2.44%1.22%0.00%

0.00%

Heikki Kovalainen

0.90%0.90%1.80%0.90%0.00%
Sergio Pérez0.89%0.00%3.57%0.00%

0.00%

Nico Hülkenberg

0.88%0.00%1.75%1.75%0.00%
Jean Alesi0.87%0.50%1.99%1.00%

0.00%

Eddie Irvine

0.86%2.76%0.69%0.00%0.00%
Pastor Maldonado0.86%1.72%0.00%1.72%

0.00%

Peter Gethin

0.83%3.33%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Luigi Villoresi0.81%0.00%3.23%0.00%

0.00%

Thierry Boutsen

0.77%1.84%0.61%0.61%0.00%
Jochen Mass0.72%0.96%1.92%0.00%

0.00%

Roberto Moreno

0.61%0.00%2.44%0.00%0.00%
Jarno Trulli0.60%0.40%0.40%1.59%

0.00%

Tom Pryce

0.60%0.00%0.00%2.38%0.00%
Romain Grosjean0.56%0.00%2.22%0.00%

0.00%

Bruno Sennna

0.54%0.00%2.17%0.00%0.00%
Bertrand Gachot0.53%0.00%2.13%0.00%

0.00%

Jackie Oliver

0.52%0.00%2.08%0.00%0.00%
Mike Hailwood0.51%0.00%2.04%0.00%

0.00%

Henri Pescarolo

0.50%0.00%2.00%0.00%0.00%
Jean Behra0.48%0.00%1.92%0.00%

0.00%

Jo Bonnier

0.48%0.96%0.00%0.96%0.00%
Johnny Herbert0.47%1.88%0.00%0.00%

0.00%

Vitaly Petrov

0.44%0.00%1.75%0.00%0.00%
Kamui Kobayashi0.42%0.00%1.67%0.00%

0.00%

Nick Heidfeld

0.41%0.00%1.09%0.55%0.00%
Alexander Wurz0.36%0.00%1.45%0.00%

0.00%

Bruno Giacomelli

0.36%0.00%0.00%1.45%0.00%
Derek Warwick0.34%0.00%1.37%0.00%

0.00%

Mauricio Gugelmin

0.34%0.00%1.35%0.00%0.00%
Satoru Nakajima0.34%0.00%1.35%0.00%

0.00%

Jonathan Palmer

0.30%0.00%1.22%0.00%0.00%
Marc Surer0.30%0.00%1.22%0.00%

0.00%

Timo Glock

0.27%0.00%1.10%0.00%0.00%
Andrea de Cesaris0.24%0.00%0.48%0.48%

0.00%

Pedro de la Rosa

0.24%0.00%0.96%0.00%0.00%
Adrian Sutil0.23%0.00%0.92%0.00%

0.00%

Olivier Panis0.16%0.64%0.00%0.00%

0.00%

It isn’t really a surprise to see Juan Manuel Fangio at the top of the list, but to see Sebastian Vettel ahead of Michael Schumacher at this stage of his career is interesting.  Of course, if he has a couple of poor seasons, then he will drop down this list.  There are some anomalies (highlighted in red) due to the fact that the Indianapolis 500 was part of the World Championship in the 1950’s yet drivers did not compete in both that race and the F1 races held elsewhere.

Some things may come as a surprise:

  • Damon Hill appearing higher in the list than Lewis Hamilton, and much higher than his dad;
  • Just how far down Fernando Alonso is, considering his reputation;
  • That some drivers seem to be grouped by driving style (Gilles Villeneuve next to Keke Rosberg and Jenson Button only a few places above David Coulthard);
  • That Felipe Massa is eighteen places above Rubens Barrichello.

So, what do you make of this list? Is it a good way to rank drivers across the history of the sport, and who do you think is out of place?

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